The Brunswick County Commissioners backed a resolution Monday to support a proposed North Carolina constitutional amendment stating that marriage is between a man and woman.
The proposed amendment that states “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state,” will go before voters on the May 8 primary ballot.
If it is approved, the state would become the last state in the Southeast to add a constitutional amendment defining marriage. Same-sex marriage is already outlawed by the state.
County commissioners said early last week the resolution was a way of backing the amendment because it was a step in the right direction.
The resolution passed 4-1 on Monday as part of the commissioners’ consent agenda.
Commissioner Charles Warren was the lone dissenter against the consent agenda, which contained several measures besides the amendment resolution. Warren did not say why he voted against the group of items.
Those who spoke in opposition of the resolution at Monday’s meeting said pushing the issue further could have potential implications on gay rights.
T.R. Nunley, a representative of the Wilmington Pride group, asked commissioners to consider the possible infringements on same-sex partners’ rights.
“It’s not just a marriage issue. It can open a whole can of worms,” Nunley said.
Brunswick County resident Melinda Irvin, who identified herself as a lesbian, asked commissioners to consider children with parents in same-sex relationships.
“You are not only affecting the older people here, but the younger generation,” she said.
The resolution was brought to the board by Commissioner Marty Cooke, who said a constituent brought the issue to his attention.
Same-sex marriage has moved front and center in the national spotlight in recent months, as the election season heats up and as opponents of same-sex marriage continue their push to get a California law banning it reinstalled.
In February, California’s 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 against Proposition 8, a same-sex marriage ban passed by voters there in 2008. The ruling found that the ban was a violation of gay and lesbian rights.
But those in favor of the ban have asked the appeals court to reconsider, and if unsuccessful, could try to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.
Jason Gonzales: 343-2075
On Twitter: @StarNews_Jason