Republican leaders in North Carolina are pushing for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which they hope advances at a special legislative session on September 12. North Carolina House Majority Leader Rep. Paul Stam (R) appeared this week on American Family Association radio with AFA’s President Tim Wildmon and the Family Research Council’s President, Tony Perkins. The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies both AFA and FRC as hate groups for their anti-gay rhetoric. Stam urged listeners to call their representative to encourage them to vote for the anti-gay measure and expressed optimism that voters would approve the amendment if it passed out of the legislature:
WILDMON: Shouldn’t this be a slam dunk once it gets out there to the people of North Carolina?
STAM: Well, we believe the people will pass it by 60, 65, 70 percent. That has never been the issue. The issue has been the old guard, for a decade, just not wanting to have the vote.
Watch the full exchange:
Unfortunately for Stam and his hate group companions, polling is not on his side. Two polls earlier this year showed that a majority of North Carolinians support some form of legal recognition for gay couples, either through civil unions or marriage. A Public Policy Polling poll showed 46 percent oppose recognition and an Elon University poll showed only 35 percent opposed recognition while 55 percent would vote down the proposed constitutional ban. [See UPDATE below!]
The lead proponent of the amendment, Ron Baity of Return America, said yesterday that it’s essential because Satan has marriage in the “crosshairs,” hoping “to tear down the idea of Christ’s unconditional love for us.”
That Stam would promote Baity’s ideas and associate with groups like AFA and FRC further confirms he is not interested in the will of the people, but rather boosting his own party’s reelection campaigns using anti-gay discrimination as a wedge issue. (HT: Good As You.)
A new poll released today shows that 56 percent of North Carolina voters oppose or strongly oppose the amendment, a five-point jump in the last two years. Support for legal recognition of same-sex couples stands strong at 57 percent.