RALEIGH–The North Carolina State Senate voted yesterday to concur with a bi-partisan vote in the North Carolina State House to pass a Marriage Protection Amendment recognizing marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman. The Senate passed the Amendment 30-16, while the House vote was 75 to 42. Passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment by both houses of the General Assembly allows the issue to go to a vote of the people on the next primary election ballot scheduled to be held May, 2012.
If a majority of North Carolina voters support the Marriage Amendment in this referendum, the language of the amendment will be permanently included in the North Carolina Constitution, and North Carolina will join thirty other states that have protected marriage in their constitutions.
“This is a great day for the people of North Carolinato be able to vote on this important issue,” said Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the N.C. Values Coalition. “The voters have waited for eight years to vote on protecting marriage, and the General Assembly has finally provided that opportunity to them.”
The floor debate in the Senate included discussion of the economic advantages the Marriage Amendment would bring toNorth Carolina. States that have protected marriage have better business rankings than states that have not or states that have redefined marriage. “Whether it’s Forbes magazine, the American Legislative Exchange Council, CNBC, Chief Executive Magazine or the National Chamber of Commerce, the overwhelming majority of the states in the top ten in economic performance in the country are states that protect marriage in their constitutions,” Fitzgerald said.
The Marriage Amendment will also protect private businesses by allowing them to continue to offer benefits according to their own strategic business decisions instead of government mandates.
The North Carolina Values Coalition has worked since February toward passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment and expects to play a key role in the campaign to get it passed on the next primary ballot. Citizens interested in getting involved and supporting the NC Value Coalition’s efforts on behalf of marriage should go to NCValues.org