North Carolina State Senator James
Forrester died on Monday after a brief hospitalization, the AP
reported. He was 74.
Forrester's daughter, Mary Paige
Forrester, said the Republican died shortly after he was taken off
life support in the early morning.
“He passed very peacefully,” his
Forrester, a physician by trade, was
first elected to the Senate in 1991, where he often worked on health
But he'll most likely be remembered for
his sponsorship of a constitutional amendment that would ban gay
marriage in the state and the fiery rhetoric with which he campaigned
for its passage.
Forrester tried for eight years to get
his amendment through the General Assembly. In September, lawmakers
decided to put
the question up for a vote in May.
In advocating for the measure,
Forrester called being gay an “unhealthy lifestyle” that would
take at least 20 years off a person's life due to “the
increased death rate from AIDS, and hepatitis, and all of the related
factors to that.”
When a lesbian mother protested
Forrester's anti-gay rhetoric, he
told her to move to New York.