After the passage of an anti-LGBT, anti-family marriage amendment by the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, LGBT advocates across the state are noticing increased pushes for similar resolutions in other counties.
Ian Palmquist, executive director of the statewide EqualityNC, says his group has tracked five other counties that have passed similar anti-gay, anti-marriage resolutions supporting the passage of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships. He said the most current list includes Ashe, Avery, Currituck, Lincoln, Madison and Moore Counties.
The resolution was on the agenda for the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners’ Feb. 23 meeting. News of its passage wasn’t readily available Tuesday morning.
Palmquist encourages community members to check the agendas of their county and city governments, to help keep track of the progressing anti-gay movement across the state.
“Agendas often aren’t posted until a day or two before meetings,” Palmquist said. “Our interns are scanning sites every few days. We encourage all our supporters to monitor their local county commissions for these issues and to talk to their commissioners in opposition.”
On Tuesday, Feb. 24, the state constitutional amendment limiting marriage is scheduled to be introduced to the North Carolina General Assembly. State Sens. Jim Forrester and Jim Jacumin have asked local county leaders to pass resolutions in support of the amendment.
Their request was more than enough for the chairman of the Rowan County Commissioners, Carl Ford, to take the measure up at his meeting. “I couldn’t ignore that,” Ford said of the senators’ request before voting to pass the resolution at the Feb. 16 Rowan County board meeting.
“As we learn about resolutions coming up in local governments we are alerting people in those areas to contact their elected officials and to attend the meetings and speak out against them,” Palmquist said.
EqualityNC has asked supporters to contact their N.C. House and Senate members to ask them not to sign on as co-sponsors of the amendment.
Palmquist also said that a counter protest of the March 3 “marriage rally” planned by anti-gay groups Return America and NC4Marriage isn’t “an effective use of our resources.” He said EqualityNC would be “working closely with progressive faith leaders to ensure the media hears from people of faith who oppose discrimination.”
He added, “We encourage supporters who want to have the most impact on stopping the marriage discrimination amendment and passing the School Violence Prevention Act to join us at our Day of Action on Tuesday, March 24. The most effective tool we have for persuading legislators to stand for equality is conversations between legislators and LGBT and allied constituents like those that will happen at Day of Action.”