North Carolina Marriage Amendment Introduced in House!


Last week in the North Carolina House two Democrats and two Republicans introduced a bill defining marriage as "the union of one man and one woman at one time." Similar language was introduced in the Senate in late February. If the Senate and House approve the language the issue will be referred to the voters of North Carolina in the 2012 November ballot.

Recent polling by the Civitas Institute found that a large majority (64 percent) of NC voters want the opportunity to vote on marriage, and that 65% favor a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman (poll conducted in December 2010).

The changes for passage of this amendment look good, as we wrote in back in early March:

In North Carolina, marriage advocates say odds look good for passing a marriage amendment.

North Carolina is the only southern state that has not added a marriage amendment to its constitution. Democratic leaders, with a lot of help from Tim Gill's money, claimed it was "unnecessary."


  1. Barb
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    It's great to hear that the NC legislature is responding to the will of the people.

    And I have to laugh every time I read the statement from the Democratic leaders that an amendment is "unnecessary." Yeah, right.

  2. Mike Brooks
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    What Barb said.

    Good to see this on the November 2012 ballot. Nothing like a gay marriage initiative to rally conservatives to the polls on Election Day.

  3. tiffany
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    It will be a mute point once the US Supreme Court strikes down prop 8, opening the door for ALL interested couples for legal, civil marriage in America.

  4. ConservativeNY
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    A "mute" point, tiff? LOL! That alone discredits your insightfulness.

    I should remind you that the U.S. Supreme Court typically does not get too far ahead of either public opinion or the law in the majority of states. For example, few states still had laws requiring racial segregation or outlawing interracial marriage by the time the Court struck those laws down. Most states had already struck down or repealed their own laws against same-sex intimacy when the Supreme Court finally invalidated Texas’s law in Lawrence. Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most liberal members of the court, has indicated that it is counterproductive for the Court to go "too far too fast." Although she tirelessly defends abortion rights, she has still said that "[t]he court bit off more than it could chew" when it decided Roe v. Wade.
    It is highly unlikely that the Supreme Court will overrule 30 state constitutional amendments defining marriage as being between one man and one woman and 31 out of 31 referendums and force gay marriage on everyone. Any lawyers bringing such a case before the Court will need favorable votes from five of the nine justices. Yet as Constitutional law scholar Andrew Koppelman put it, "When I try to count the votes in favor of same-sex marriage on the Supreme Court, I have trouble getting to one."

  5. MIke Brooks
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    tiffany - I don't think that's likely; and frankly, with Judge Walker's recent announcement that he his homosexual (surprise, surprise), there's even more reason to believe that the case will be overturned.

    btw, you mean "moot," not "mute."

  6. John N.
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Oh Tiffany moot point you say huh. What about the tenth amendment to the constitution? That is the one on states rights. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to deny states rights. It is the states that issue marriage licenses not the Feds, so Prop 8 is constitutional.
    Also when voters in CA passed proposition 22 in CA making marriage one man/one woman the homosexual activists used the court to overturn it. Prop 8 was different however. It was the people amending their own constitution. Are you now saying that the US Supreme Court is going to say that it is unconstitutional for the people to amend their own constitution.

  7. Jay Harrison
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Good for North Carolina. State #32 to define marriage as "One Man and One Woman" after 2012.

  8. Mike P.
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Tiffany- the court is not removed from public opinion. A particular policy generally has to be reasonable widespread before it is nationally established; a substantial majority of states need to have adopted it. In the major cases you would cite as precedent, such as Brown (1954), Loving (1967) and Lawrence (2003), only 17, 16, and 12 states respectively had the unconstitutional policy. 45 states, by constrast, have ordinary marriage statutes; 29 have amendments, and only 2 have legislatively enacted their new laws. This is not a majority, much less a substantial majority.

  9. Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    tiffany - I don't think that's likely; and frankly, with Judge Walker's recent announcement that he his homosexual (surprise, surprise), there's even more reason to believe that the case will be overturned.Z

    Assuming that Walker's decision is ultimately overruled on those grounds, the case will simply be remanded back to the district court for a new trial. Of course, by the time the district court is ready to deliver a final judgment, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and/or In Re Marriage of J.B. and H.B. will likely be before the Supreme Court.

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