NC Marriage Amendment Filed Again
Special Report - May 17, 2010
For the seventh consecutive year, Senator Jim Forrester (RGaston) and 11 co-sponsors filed SB 1156Defense of Marriage, which would give North Carolinians the opportunity to vote on whether to include a Marriage Protection Amendment in the State Constitution. The constitutional amendment would read, “Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." The bill proposes to include that question on ballots statewide for the November 2, 2010 general election.
In years past, the Marriage Amendment bill has been assigned to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which rarely, if ever, meets. Senator David Hoyle (DGaston), who is the new Rules Committee chairman, and therefore assigns bills to committees, indicated to The Times News that the bill will likely be referred to the Rules Committee, though he does not expect “any constitutional amendments” to be heard this legislative session. Pro-marriage members of the House expect to file their own version of the Marriage Protection Amendment soon.
North Carolina is one of 11 states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming) with statutes to protect marriage, such as a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but without a constitutional Marriage Protection Amendment like those passed in 30 other states. Currently, five states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont) plus the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
“The North Carolina legislative leadership has continually denied North Carolina citizens the right to choose for themselves whether to protect marriage constitutionally,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Protecting marriage is a winning issue in North Carolina. The General Assembly should put the question before the people and shed North Carolina’s dishonorable distinction as the only state in the south to deny its citizens their right to vote on a measure that polls consistently show has widespread support.”
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