Same-Sex Marriage

Kevin Daniels
Jessica Jones

A few weeks from now, North Carolinians will go to the polls to decide whether to add an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and banning civil unions. State law already defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, but proponents of the measure called Amendment One, saying it would be an additional safeguard to protect traditional unions. In the first of a two-part series profiling volunteers for and against the amendment, Jessica Jones introduces us to one who's for it.

A proposed amendment to the North Carolina constitution banning gay marriage and civil unions is just two sentences. But opponents of the measure say if voters approve it on May 8th, protections and benefits for unmarried couples and their children could be jeopardized. As part of our series examining the arguments over Amendment One, Isaac-Davy Aronson looks at whether a few words could change so much.

On May 8th, North Carolinians will vote on an amendment to the state constitution that would ban gay marriage and civil unions. Opponents of Amendment One claim the measure would have far-reaching consequences for gay and straight families alike. One claim is that some unmarried people and their children could lose health care coverage. Isaac-Davy Aronson reports for our series examining the arguments over Amendment One.

Multiple perspectives will get an airing at a panel this evening on the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions in North Carolina.

The discussion at Meredith College will be moderated by religious and ethical studies assistant professor Steven Benko. He says legal experts on both sides of the issue will offer analysis of the law. And religious leaders will also participate.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to endorse the upcoming statewide ballot measure to ban gay marriage. Dave DeWitt reports that the vote was along party lines.

Dave DeWitt: Board Chair Paul Coble spearheaded the Wake Commissioners’ effort to support the amendment that would ban gay marriage. Three of his Republican colleagues also voted yes. The three democrats voted no.

About 20 people spoke out before the vote was taken, just one was in favor of the ban. The majority of speakers called it heavy-handed and an intrusion of privacy.

Jim Forrester
NC General Assembly

A state senator who led the fight against gay marriage has died. Republican Jim Forrester of Gaston County suffered health problems before checking in to a hospital this weekend.

A new poll shows a majority of North Carolinians are opposed to a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The data out of Elon University shows 56 percent of state residents opposed to an amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions. Assistant poll director Mileah Kromer says support for same-sex couples in North Carolina is now widespread.

 New census data shows the number of same-sex couples in North Carolina has more than doubled in the past 10 years.

NC Pride

Attendees of this weekend's NC Pride parade and festival will have a lot on their minds, including North Carolina's proposed same-sex marriage amendment and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The event has grown steadily since its beginning in 1981, and now represents one of the best opportunities for North Carolina's LGBT communities to get together for celebration and contemplation. Host Frank Stasio talks about some of the issues facing gays and lesbians today with Steven Petrow, author of the book, "Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners: The Definitive Guide to LGBT Life" (Workman Publishing Company/2011); Pam Spaulding, editor and publisher of the LGBT advocacy blog, “Pam’s House Blend”; Reverend Brett Webb-Mitchell, a former pastor and visiting faculty at North Carolina Central University; and Randy Jones, the cowboy from Village People and the keynote speaker at this weekend's NC Pride parade and festival.

Voters in North Carolina will decide next May whether to add an amendment to the state constitution that would ban gay marriage. Earlier today, the state Senate voted with a three-fifths majority in favor of a proposed amendment that recognizes marriage as being between one man and one woman. The House passed the measure yesterday. Republican Senator Buck Newton says adding such an amendment to the state constitution would make it more difficult for judges to overturn bans on same-sex marriage.