Marriage Protection Amendment Filed
Special Report - February 24, 2011
Sen James Forrester (RGaston) and 22 other Senators filed a bill this week that could finally give North Carolinians the opportunity to vote on whether to place the definition of marriage, as currently protected by state law, into the State Constitution. This marks the eighth year Sen. Forrester has filed a Marriage Protection Amendment bill. SB 106Defense of Marriage would ask voters on November 6, 2012 (the date of the next statewide general election) to vote for or against a “Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."
Bills to amend the State Constitution require a three-fifths majority vote in both the House and Senate to be placed on the ballot, but are not subject to action by the Governor. If the bill is passed, and the amendment is approved by voters, North Carolina would become the 31st state to protect the definition of marriage in the State Constitution. Currently, North Carolina is the only southern state without such an amendment. None of the bills introduced in previous years were considered by either chamber of the General Assembly.
In related news, on February 23rd, the United States Department of Justice released a statement from Attorney General Eric Holder stating, “this Administration will no longer assert [the] constitutionality [of the federal Defense of Marriage Act] in court,” based on direction from President Barack Obama, who is opposed to DOMA and believes it is unconstitutional. The statement was made in response to two lawsuits currently being considered in the 2nd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States. Both lawsuits, filed November 9, 2010, challenge the constitutionality of the federal DOMA, which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between one man and one woman, and protects states from being forced to recognize the same-sex “marriages” of other states where it is legal.
Senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Austin Nimocks issued a statement criticizing the decision, saying in part, “This only confirms what has appeared to be the case in several recent lawsuits. In those defense-of-marriage cases, the DOJ has undermined rather than defended DOMA. It’s unfortunate that the administration won’t defend such an important law passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. Either the House of Representatives or the Senate have the legal authority to intervene in pending lawsuits to defend the federal DOMA statute. In addition, ADF will not waver in its ongoing defense of marriage nationwide.”
“The Obama administration’s refusal to defend the law of the land is just the latest in a long list of reasons why it is imperative for the North Carolina General Assembly to act swiftly to pass a Marriage Protection Amendment bill to give North Carolinians the opportunity to place the definition of marriage safely in the State Constitution,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “The Senate should act swiftly to pass SB 106. We know the people of North Carolina overwhelmingly support not only the chance to vote on a Marriage Protection Amendment, but would welcome the opportunity to protect the definition of marriage from the whims of legislative and court majorities.”
Majority for Traditional Marriage - February 15, 2011
Majority Battle Rundown - February 2, 2011
D.C. Marriage Case Snuffed By Supreme Court - January 19, 2011
Assault On Marriage Intensifies - November 12, 2010
ADF Petitions U.S. Supreme Court - October 15, 2010
Judge Says Federal DOMA Flawed - July 9, 2010
D.C. Appeals Court Rejects Marriage - July 20, 2010
N.C. Voters Want Marriage Amendment - APril 27, 2010
D.C. Issues Homosexual Marriage Licenses - March 4, 2010
Court Rejects D.C. Marriage Referendum - February 24, 2010
D.C. Mayor Signs Same-Sex "Marriage" Bill - December 21, 2009
Judge Rules Texas DOMA Unconstitutional - October 16, 2009
Bill Would Repeal Federal Marriage Law - September 18, 2009
White House Wants DOMA Repeal - August 19, 2009
Justice Defends Marriage - June 22, 2009
Lawsuit Challenges Federal DOMA - March 6, 2009
Three-Fourths Support NC Marriage Amendment - February 25, 2009
Council Urges Marriage Vote - February 20, 2009
White House Seeks Pro-Homosexual Agenda - January 21, 2009
Marriage Amendment Bill Filed in NC House - July 3, 2008
The Issue That Will Not Go Away - FNC - April, 2010
An Update on the Battle over Marriage Redefinition - FNC - April, 2010
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