Anti-gay marriage amendment circulating in Raleigh

Amendment discussion comes on tail of Equality North Carolina lobbying day this week

RALEIGH, N.C. — LGBT advocates working at the North Carolina legislature say a constitutional amendment to ban recognition of same-sex relationships could be filed as early as this week.

Equality North Carolina sent out an action alert to its members on Wednesday saying that Republican Gaston County Sen. James Forrester had begun circulating the amendment and seeking co-sponsors for it. Ian Palmquist, the group’s executive director, told qnotes that he’d yet to see a copy of the amendment and it’s text though he imagined it wasn’t much changed from the version submitted in several previous legislative sessions.

The proposed constitutional amendment, held at bay for seven years by the formerly Democratically-controlled legislature, would not only ban recognition of same-sex marriages but any kind of relationship recognition for gay couples. The amendment could also ban private companies based in the state from offering domestic partner benefits.

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Palmquist said he wasn’t sure when the bill would be filed and hadn’t yet heard of any companion bill in the House.

Forrester’s move comes just one day after Equality North Carolina held its annual Day of Action at the state legislature. Just under 200 people from across the state traveled to Raleigh to meet with their elected officials and discuss issues important to the LGBT community.

“We had a great turnout and people had a good experience talking to their legislators,” Palmquist said. “We found some opportunities I think to engage some new legislators on our issues.”

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Palmquist said he wasn’t sure what prompted Forrester to take action this week. “I don’t if he went ahead and did it in response to our activities but we knew the bill would be there at some point this year,” he said.

The amendment will potentially face relatively little opposition in the legislature this year. Republicans, who have long supported the amendment, gained control of the General Assembly in last fall’s election. Republican leaders in both the House and Senate have spoken about social issues very little thus far this session, instead focusing their attention on the economy, jobs and the state budget.

qnotes reached out to Forrester’s office but was unable to speak to him.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

8 Replies to “Anti-gay marriage amendment circulating in Raleigh”

  1. So, Jim Crow is alive and well in North Carolina, only now its 21st century name is Jim Forrester. Unbelievably the guy considers himself a Christian and a supporter of family values. Whose Christ, whose family, I wonder. Not mine.

    This is a travesty for North Carolina and for Christians.

  2. Jake Gellar-Goad February 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    “Republican leaders in both the House and Senate have spoken about social issues very little thus far this session, instead focusing their attention on the economy, jobs and the state budget.”

    While their speech might be about jobs, their actions are about restricting choice, discriminating against gay people, consider redistricting in a partisan way rather than the independent panel they called up for right until the moment when they took power, trying to ram through voter Photo ID requirements that will make it harder for students, the elderly, people of colors, and other groups to vote.

    I was at Equality NC’s day of action to talk to my representatives about LGBT equality yesterday, and Democracy NC’s event today to talk to them about opposing voter photo ID efforts, and I was able to speak to Democrats and Republicans, from the various districts in which I have, and currently live (Mt. Airy, NC, Raleigh, NC, Chapel Hill, NC & talked to a legislative aide from Durham, NC).

    The GOP leadership may want to talk about jobs, but they only want to act on social issues. With these lobbying days having just happened, anyone who can e-mail their representatives as a follow up to keep the conversation going, it would be especially effective to do now!

  3. We knew this was coming,,,

    So when do we start our counter campaign against this travesty???

  4. Correy Lennox Youngblood February 17, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Good luck with that one, bigots of North Carolina. If I had a company, moved it to North Carolina, and offered benefits to same sex partners of my employees, y’all can’t do jack shit about it.

  5. So much for the Republican rhetoric about economy and jobs first. Most of us knew that was a complete lie and their only agenda is to put civil rights back about 60 years.

  6. Correy Lennox Youngblood February 18, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Wow. I read a lot of gay marriage stories online, as I wish to marry my partner someday.

    What caught my eye about this one is that I work for a film company, and we were set to film in North Carolina this summer.

    If this passes, dear North Carolina legislature, we’ll spend the 5 million bucks we were going to spend in Wilmington elsewhere.

  7. One step forward, two steps back. I’m really considering getting out of NC.

  8. Ever hear the phrase “The only good Republican is a DEAD Republican”? How the Republicans have corrupted this nation since the likes of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Truman.

    The only GOOD Republican is still a DEAD Republican.

    These Talibangelical Fundamentalist Extremists will not rest till of this nation grovels before them.

    GOP= God’s of the Poor!

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