The Current Status of the “Defense of Marriage Act”

Brenda T. Formo and Joyce Krawiec

September 13, 2011

Defense of Marriage Act Passed in the House in a vote of 75 to 42 with 2 not voting and 1 excused absence, on Monday Sep 12th. The bill will be voted on in the Senate today, Sep 13th. According to Joyce Krawiec who has talked with most NC Representatives and Senators on this issue, three Republican Senators may be wavering on this critical vote, please call them and ask that they vote to let the people decide:

Senator Fletcher Hartsell (Cabarrus, Iredell) (919) 733-7223 and
Senator Richard Stevens (Wake) (919) 733-5653

Senator Bill Rabon (Brunswick, Columbus, Pender) (919) 733- 5963

  • The Bill:

1. States that: “Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution is amended by adding the following new section: Sec. 6. Marriage. Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”

2. House Majority Leader Paul Stam said in a memorandum: “This language is premised on the idea that granting legal status to non-marital relationships (opposite-sex or otherwise) undermines marriage. In contrast, the granting of benefits to an unmarried individual(s), without regard to his or her personal relationships, does not undermine marriage because it is not an official sanction of a relationship.”

3. If passed, the amendment will be “submitted to qualified voters of the state at a statewide election to be held on the date of the first primary in 2012,” which is May 2012. This is a change from the general election date (Nov 2012) which was previously stated. 

  • The Votes:

Ten Democrats joined with the majority of Republicans to vote for the amendment: 

William D. Brisson (Bladen, Cumberland) 919 733-5772
Jim Crawford (Granville, Vance) 919 733-5824
Elmer Floyd (Cumberland) 919 733-5959
Ken Goodman (Montgomery, Richmond) 919 733-5823
Charles Graham (Robeson) 919 715-0875
Dewey Hill (Brunswick, Columbus) 919 733-5830
Frank McGuirt (Anson, Union since Mar 2011) 919 715-3007

Bill Owens (Camden, Currituck, Pasquotank, Tyrrell) 919 733-0010 Bill

Garland E. Pierce (Hoke, Robeson, Scotland) 919 733-5803

Timothy Spear (Chowan, Dare, Hyde, Washington) 919 715-3029

Opinion From personal observations of the Rally and the General Assembly on Sep 12, 2011, although the left’s media would have you believe that the Rally was contentious vitriol against homosexuals, it was not. Instead it was a Rally of Christians, predominately Black Christians who took a stand for marriage between a man and a woman, as God has established as a foundation of the family in the Bible. The Rally was positive, uplifting, and an affirmation of Christian tenets. 

Many people have worked tirelessly over the last eight years on this amendment. Making a difference have been the Black churches and their members across NC; the NC Values Coalition and in particular Tami Fitzgerald; Concerned Women of America, Mary Frances Forrester; the Christian Action League of NC; Civitas; the NCFRW; and many other individuals and groups that called or wrote to Legislators, attended rallies, and sent Resolutions and Petitions to the Legislature in support of the Defense of Marriage Amendment. (In addition, Joyce Krawiec, NCFRW Grassroots Activism Chairman, has worked tirelessly on this issue.) 

Joyce Krawiec and Brenda T. Formo

Sources: NCGA (Senate Bill 514); Memorandum from Majority Leader Paul Stam, Sep 9, 2011; personal observations of the rally and the Legislature on Sep 12, 2011.

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