In an interview with the Asheville Citizen-Times, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) expressed his optimism that a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage will pass the House in a special session this fall. In doing so, however, he defended his position with statements that are factually untrue:
TILLIS: The defense of marriage is one that a number of folks in our base feel very strongly about. Generally speaking, it polls fairly high across the voter base. It’s not a particularly partisan thing.
Much to the contrary, an Elon University poll found in February that 56 percent of North Carolinians oppose a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. In fact, in that poll, only 35 percent opposed any form of legal recognition for same-sex couples. A March Public Policy Polling poll found that 52 percent of North Carolinians support marriage or at least civil unions.
Tillis also told the Citizen-Times that “data” show that traditional marriages between men and women are “more stable and nurturing.” A study just released this week actually shows that gays, lesbians, and bisexuals rate their relationship goals as highly meaningful and valuable, just as straight people do. The problem is that same-sex couples face significant societal barriers in achieving their intimacy goals (like bans on same-sex marriage). The American Psychological Association also supports marriage equality based on significant evidence that same-sex couples are as happy, stable, and committed as opposite-sex couples, even without the benefit of marriage. The American Medical Association reiterated its support for equality this week as well because the support of marriage recognition helps fight health disparities in the LGBT community.
Despite not having facts or justice on their side, North Carolina Republican legislators could nonetheless force the issue to a vote on the 2012 ballot.