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Where we are in NC on a marriage amendment

State Senators Jim Forrester and Fred Smith are on a mission to protect marriage in NC from the homos.

We have been watching and waiting here for the new legislative session of the NC General Assembly. It was highly likely some of our southern-fried redneck wingnuts would submit another marriage amendment bill. We didn’t wait long; Senate Bill S8 was put in the hopper today. The good news is that the Democrat-controlled legislature is making it harder for a bill to get to the floor. (News and Observer):

Sens. Jim Forrester, R-Gaston, and Fred Smith, R-Johnston, filed a bill to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The constitutional referendum, if approved by the Legislature, would go to voters at the May 2006 state primary election. A majority of senators last year sought consideration for a similar bill pushed by Forrester. The bill fell two votes short of the 30 needed to get it out of committee and onto the Senate floor for a vote. The Senate on opening day Wednesday made that rule even more stringent. Now, 34 signatures are needed instead of 30.

Gay marriage opponent, Gov. Mike Easley (D); openly gay State Senator Julia Boseman.

NC Dem Governor Mike Easley came out for a state amendment at the last minute during the election campaign when he was asked to take a position on it. His direct quote to the Charlotte Observer: “I support current state law (that was authored by Senator Forrester) which expressly prohibits gay marriage,” and he would “be happy to sign on” to an amendment “if it’s what it takes” to safeguard the traditional definition of marriage (News-Record).

He didn’t have to do that — he had a healthy lead. He deservingly lost the endorsement (which he had up until that point) from Equality NC. Dems here that abandon civil rights issues are going to have their feet held to the fire by progressives here. This state has a lot to lose if they pass a Super-DOMA. The economic engine of this state resides in the Blue counties here, and when it comes to a vote, it’s going to be a hard fight if they don’t want to see a “brain drain” from this state.

There’s good news too: Julia Boseman, an out lesbian, is NC’s first openly gay state senator, representing New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington. Her email is

Also, see my post on Triangle area residents discussing same-sex marriage, with excerpts from a great News & Observer article.

For future activism:
Sen. Jim Forrester
Office: 1129 Legislative Building, Raleigh, NC 27601-2808
Phone: (919) 715-3050

Fred Smith
Office: 520 Legislative Office Building, Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
Phone: (919) 733-5748

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding