A North Carolina House committee on
Monday approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban
gay marriage in the state.
The House Rules Committee approved the
amendment with a voice vote after little debate and sent the measure
to the House for debate.
House Minority Leader Joe Hackney
called the amendment a “terrible idea” and criticized the
amendment's fast-paced consideration.
“This is no way to conduct
constitutional business for the State of North Carolina,” Hackney
told colleagues. “It ought not to be done this way and ought to be
given a fair hearing. We have people in the audience, experts on
constitutional interpretation. They are not allowed to speak. The
language itself is put together – apparently finalized last
evening. There are so many unanswered questions about this that we
don't have time to go into here at this meeting.”
A new version of the measure would put
the question before voters during the May primary election, not
during the general election in November as previously assumed.
Supporters of the amendment rallied in
Raleigh on Monday.
North Carolina's largest gay rights
group, Equality North Carolina, delivered more than 50,000 postcards
to lawmakers from constituents who oppose the amendment.