The North Carolina House on Monday
approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay
marriage in the state.
Lawmakers returned to Raleigh this week
to consider whether to send the proposed amendment to voters next
The House Rules Committee sent a newly
introduced version of the measure to the full House after approving
it with a voice vote. If approved, voters would see the question on
the ballot during the May primary election, not during the general
election in November as previously assumed.
The debate in the House began shortly
after 3PM and lasted nearly 3 hours. While most of the members who
rose to debate the issue urged their colleagues to vote against the
amendment, it easily cleared the chamber with a 75 to 42 vote.
Rep. Henry M. Michaux, Jr., a Democrat
and an African-American, said he opposed the measure because
constitutions are permanent documents.
“The constitution is a living
document,” Michaux said. “If you think it's hard to get
something out of a living document, you take a look at the United
States Constitution, where it says that I'm three-fifths of a person –
even though we've had amendments come along to sort of change that,
it still says it in that constitution. What you put into a
constitution is there permanently.”
Openly gay freshman Rep.
Marcus Brandon apologized to the gay community for the actions of the
general assembly, saying that “God wouldn't want any child to feel
like she's less than someone else … that is not God.”
The Senate is expected to debate the
measure as early as Tuesday.