Breaking: NC marriage amendment is back

Our wingnuts here will not quit. House Bill 493 is back and the Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly are trying to bring it to a floor vote on Tuesday by using a procedural end-run to recall the anti-gay amendment  from the Rules Committee.  (N&O):

House Republicans say they will attempt a procedural maneuver to bring up a proposed constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage. The bill, which has more than 60 co-sponsors, has been sitting in the House Rules Committee for months. House rules say 72 of the 120 members would have to agree to take up the measure to pull the bill out of the committee and onto the floor. A similar three-fifths majority of the members in the House and the Senate would be required to put the amendment on the ballot for the November election.

This, friends, is how much these GOP bigots are tired of having their amendments die because the Dems in charge have bottled up and killed bills like this multiple times, leaving NC as one of the last states in the South without a discriminatory amendment on its books.  Look at the level of insanity of these people — screeching the old aactivist judges line.

Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus) gave notice today they will move to recall the state Marriage Protection Amendment, House Bill 493, from the House Rules Committee, which has not acted upon it since its introduction, to the House Floor for a vote on May 23. The following day is “Crossover Deadline” at the General Assembly, when many bills must pass the House or Senate to be eligible for consideration in the other Chamber. House Bill 493 was assigned to the Rules Committee on March 6.

“There are several reasons this bill is necessary,” according to House Republican Leader Paul Stam (R-Wake). “Under the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution, whether or not North Carolina is required to give credit to the acts of other states, like Massachusetts, depends to some degree in the form in which our public policy is expressed. A constitutional amendment adopted by the people is a stronger argument to make to a federal judge. And under the rules of comity it would strengthen our hand with regard to foreign same sex marriages.

“Liberal groups have relied on state constitutions to demand, and in some cases receive, rulings favoring same sex marriage,” Stam said. “The framers of our state’s 1868 constitution obviously did not intend to legalize same sex marriage or polygamy. But words can be twisted if this amendment is not adopted. It is not enough to say that our Supreme Court would never interpret our constitution that way. Who knows what it would do in future years? More importantly, who knows what a single Superior Court judge or a single District Court judge (resident in a liberal district) might do to disrupt our marriage statutes until those rulings could be corrected by our Supreme Court.

This is yet another attempt to ban any legal recognition of same-sex committed relationships, led by a group of people who are wasting time on this rather than the relevant state business. As Equality NC noted in its email action alert,

* The amendment would write discrimination into our constitution.
  * It’s about more than marriage. The bill would ban any kind of protections for same-sex couples, and could prevent private companies from offering domestic partner health benefits.
  * The constitution is supposed to protect the rights of minorities, not take them away. The rights of a minority should never be put to a vote of the people.
  * People of faith differ on this issue. The NC Council of Churches and many ministers across our state oppose this amendment.
  * The amendment does nothing to address the state’s real problems and is not a priority for voters.

Tar Heels, write your representative (an easy form is here) and tell them not to allow this anti-gay, anti-American bill to be brought to a vote in the NC House. If it does, it will surely pass, and if it ultimately ends up on the ballot, we will again see an example of “the people” to decide who can be denied civil rights.

A summary of the bill’s language and links to co-sponsors are after the jump…The summary of the bill:

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.”

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