A few minutes ago, Senator Jim Forrester (R-Gaston), along with 20 co-sponsors, introduced a bill to amend the North Carolina Constitution to discriminate against same-sex couples.
Senate Bill 8, so-called "Defense of Marraige", would not only deny equal marriage rights, which are already denied lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians, but would also prohibit any recognition of civil unions, domestic partnerships, or similar relationships in the state. The language of the bill is so broad it could prevent private companies from extending domestic partner benefits to their employees.
Sen. Forrester introduced an identical bill in the 2004 session, which Equality NC successfully worked to block. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. In order to become law, the bill would need to pass both the House and Senate with at 3/5 margin, and be approved my a majority of voters on the May 2006 primary ballot.
A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the House in the coming days.
If you haven't already contacted your Representative to ask him not to sign onto this bill as a co-sponsor, please do right away. You can contact them online at http://www.equalitync.org/actioncenter
Monday, January 31, 2005
NC Action Alert:
For those of us with ties to the Tar Heel State, Equality North Carolina just released the following alert: