Charlotte Observer opposes anti-LGBT amendment

Largest Carolina paper says amendment 'roadblock to change'

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: August 16, 2011 in News

CHARLOTTE — North Carolina’s largest daily newspaper has published a staff editorial opposing a proposed anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment that could ban both marriage and other relationship recognition for same-sex couples.

The Charlotte Observer‘s editorial came on the same day that North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) was set to hold a public Q&A and town hall forum in his home district, just minutes north of Charlotte. In June, Tillis indicated that the amendment would be brought up for a vote in a special September session devoted to constitutional amendments.

In explaining their opposition to the amendment, Charlotte Observer staff outlined the history of growing support for same-sex relationships, numbers they say would have been “unimaginable here” a decade ago and explaining “why gay marriage opponents are desperate to pile sandbags as high as they can against this wave of change.”

The Charlotte Observer concluded: “We think such an amendment is wrong for North Carolina. It would contribute to a climate of hostility toward homosexuals, and it also could be bad for business. Recent research by UNC School of Law professor Victor B. Flatt concluded that a gay marriage amendment could cause businesses to see our state as inhospitable to their gay employees while undermining efforts to attract new talent to their companies. Those business leaders should speak up, along with faith leaders and others who can remind legislators that North Carolina already has a law that bans gay marriage – and that change is coming. Laws can and should evolve as citizens reconsider their values and the rules that codify them. A constitutional amendment would be a wasteful, and ill-timed, roadblock.”