North Carolina State House Speaker Thom
Tillis believes the House will approve a gay marriage ban amendment
and send it to voters for their approval in 2012.
The constitutional amendment would
define marriage as a heterosexual union, thereby banning gay and
lesbian couples from marrying. 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 with the Citizen-Times,
Tillis said the 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.
Lawmakers are expected to take up the
legislation during a special session in the fall.