Eyes on North Carolina, As State Senate Considers Marriage Amendment

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 12, 2011 12:38 PM |

This weekend brought news that the consideration of a marriage amendment in North Carolina would be coming this week. From the Associated Press:

A Senate judiciary committee is scheduled Monday to consider the updated proposal, which would recognize marriage between one man and one woman as the state's only valid domestic legal union. But the proposal, released Saturday by a senator's office, also says the amendment would not prevent private parties from entering contracts, nor courts from ruling in those cases — a likely reference to same-sex benefits.

The constitutional amendment would have to be approved by the House and Senate and then by voters in 2012.

The move, though, happened very quietly in what Pam Spaulding called an act of "jaw-dropping cowardice," with the The News & Observer's Craig Janis describing what happened as follows:

When the Senate released its calendar on Friday, the only bill listed on the agenda for that committee meeting was the proposed constitutional amendment to limit the terms of the speaker of the House and president pro tem of the Senate. The calendar noted that anyone wanting to speak on the term limits bill had to sign up before the meeting.

But shortly after the calendar was posted online, committee members were emailed a new version of the marriage amendment bill. They were told the plan was to strip out the language in the term limits bill and replace it with the marriage amendment language.

Equality North Carolina has a rally planned for noon Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the Statehouse.

UPDATE: Amendment was passed by the state House 75-42. See more from Pam Spaulding.

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