Update: 9/13/11 – Senate passes it as well 30-16
I have previously written about the possibility of NC succumbing to southern peer pressure on same-sex marriage. Well the process is off to a good start for supporters of the constitutional amendment. In a move that will surely upset opponents of this, about 5 hours after the bill was introduced it had passed the house by a vote of 75-42. It now heads to the senate where passage is a little harder to determine. While there is support in the senate the question is whether they have enough votes to get it through.
The real tricks in the night are about how they got the votes in the house. This bill would make the constitutional amendment a ballot initiative and let the NC voters determine its fate. They wanted to get support from some house democrats and so they made a slight change in the details. Some of the house democrats supported the measure, but thought that putting on the November 2012 ballot, was a way to increase voter turnout in a presidential race for conservative republicans. State republicans though, know it was less about voter turnout in a presidential election and more about pushing same-sex couples out of this state. So they gladly moved it to the May primary ballot, which got them enough support from house democrats.
The majority of people voting in the May primary will be republicans since they are the only ones with a contested race. This move virtually guarantees that the ballot initiative will get the votes it needs. Pending what happens in the senate, opponents are going to have to do GOTV efforts to people who would not ordinarily vote in the May primaries to push this back. It was a sneaky move done in the night hours.
You already know my feelings on the issue of same-sex marriages, so I won’t go into those details again. But for a state with high unemployment this is a great way to welcome new people and businesses to our state. Go ahead and tell the gay community they are not welcome in this state. Don’t move here, don’t spend money here, don’t open a business here, don’t raise children here because you are not welcome. Also, what a great way to show support for those already living here. What message are you sending them? You can live here and spend money here, but we won’t allow you the same rights as others.
Sad day for the state of North Carolina!