North Carolina Marriage Amendment Filed
Special Report - May 15, 2008
One of the first bills filed during the 2008 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly calls for an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution to define marriage as “the union of one man and one woman at one time.” The bill, Senate Bill 1608Defense of Marriage, was filed Wednesday, May 14 by primary sponsors Senators Jim Forrester (R-Gaston) and Fred Smith (R-Johnston). This is the fifth year in a row that such legislation has been introduced in the North Carolina Legislature, and bill proponents are hopeful that this will be the year the legislative leadership allows a vote on the measure.
“For four straight years, the leadership of the General Assembly has denied lawmakers and the pubic the opportunity to vote on a State Marriage Amendment in North Carolina,” said John Rustin, vice president and director of government relations for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Every state in the Southeastern U.S. has passed a marriage amendment by an average voter approval rate of over 75 percent, and Florida has the question on the ballot this fall. North Carolina remains the only state in the Southeast that has failed to do all it can to protect the definition of marriage, leaving us vulnerable to attack in the courts and the legislature,” Rustin concluded. “The time to act on the marriage amendment is now.”
SB 1608 proposes to add the following language to the North Carolina Constitution: “Marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. This is the only marriage that shall be recognized as valid in this State. The uniting of two persons of the same sex or the uniting of more than two persons of any sex in a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar relationship within or outside of this State shall not be valid or recognized in this State. This Constitution shall not be construed to require that marital status or the rights, privileges, benefits, or other legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried individuals or groups.”
If the bill is approved by three-fifths of the members of the North Carolina House and Senate, the voters of the state would have the opportunity to vote on the marriage amendment during the November 4 General Election. If approved by a simple majority of qualified voters, this pro-marriage amendment would be added to our State Constitution.
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.