North Carolina's top Republican, State
House Speaker Thom Tillis, is ready to put a gay marriage ban on next
At a packed town hall meeting in
Cornelius, Tillis was asked about a legislative proposal expected to
be debated next month during a special session. The proposal would
define marriage as a heterosexual union in the state's constitution.
“Can you explain to us why you're
squandering taxpayer resources on this hateful legislation?” a
“That's a fair question,” Tillis
He went on to call marriage between a
man and a woman “the bedroom of society,” then added: “I do
believe your side has arguments to be heard.”
“(We'll) let the democratic process
take its course,” he said, the
The legislation was introduced in the
Senate in February and in the House in April.
The Senate version explicitly bans
other unions in addition to marriage, which might include civil
unions and domestic partnerships, but the House version only covers
marriage. Gay rights activists worry that the Senate version could
outlaw domestic partner benefits currently offered by private sector
an interview last month with the Citizen-Times,
Tillis said he believes the amendment will clear his chamber.
“The defense of marriage is one that
a number of folks in our base feel very strongly about,” Tillis
said. “Generally speaking, it polls fairly high across the voter
base. It's not a particularly partisan thing.”
Tillis said he personally believes
“data” show that heterosexual marriages are more stable and
nurturing when asked his view on gay marriage.
Voters in Minnesota will vote on a
similar amendment next year.