Perdue on marriage amendment, viral remark

Gov. Bev Perdue said today she'll announce her position on the constitutional ban on same-sex unions later this week. She also downplayed the political reaction to her remarks last week.

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Laura Leslie

Gov. Bev Perdue is planning to break her silence on the same-sex marriage amendment later this week. 

Perdue has said she doesn't approve of GOP lawmakers' focus on a social issue rather than job creation.  But so far, she hasn't been willing to say how she intends to vote on the amendment.

The governor was a supporter of the 1996 state law banning same-sex marriage. And lawmakers have said her office was involved in a change to the amendment that moved it from the November 2012 ballot to the May primary ballot. The change will insulate Democratic candidates from a potentially high turnout of social conservatives in the general election. But it also makes the amendment more likely to pass. 

Speaking to reporters today after an event in Raleigh, Perdue said an announcement is forthcoming. 

"I'm working with the constituency groups as you would expect me to do," she said. "I'm making a lot of phone calls. My team is talking."

"I've known all along where I stand," she said. "I've just tried to go back and talk to people about my position. And you all will hear it very quickly."

Asked if GOP Congresswoman Renee Ellmers' stated opposition to the ban will make her decision easier, Perdue looked incredulous.

"Why would that make it easier?" she replied. " When I make a decision, when I stand or fall for something, I do it because of who I am and what I believe." 

Perdue also talked about the fallout from her remark last week about suspending elections. The governor has said all along she was not seriously proposing the idea, but the comment quickly went viral on right-wing media and websites, where some conspiracy theorists accused her of floating a "trial balloon" for a "treasonous overthrow" of constitutional government purportedly sought by President Obama. 

"I'm not a political commentator. I don't write articles or do a lot of media. I've been told by you all that I'm not very good at it. I appreciate that - it gives me some cover," she said.

"The fact is, I'm spending my time on workforce issues, on education, on jobs. And things like that are just insignificant in the discussion about economic development of North Carolina's future."  

Asked about a cartoon reportedly circulating that depicts her with a noose around her neck, the governor was dismissive. 

"I don't have any comment on that," she said. "It's a waste of time." 


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