During a recent public forum at the University of North Carolina, student Jeff DeLuca challenged North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) for supporting the proposed constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. DeLuca pointed out that the amendment sends a message to young gay people like him that they are not wanted in the state:
DELUCA: I just want you to know that you are sending a message to many young people like myself — people across this country — that they’re not wanted here in North Carolina. That’s what [Rep.] Jim Forrester said when he brought this forward — that the goal of this amendment was to keep LGBT people out of North Carolina, to scare them away. And I think that that’s a really cynical and divisive thing to be doing when so many people are out of work — straight and gay.
Tillis stood by his opposition to marriage equality, but continued to express some ambivalence about the amendment because he now feels it may be government overreach. He previously tried to absolve himself of responsibility for the amendment’s passage in the legislature, despite the fact he was the one who scheduled it for a vote.