N.C. GOP leaders to push for ban on same-sex marriage - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

N.C. GOP leaders to push for ban on same-sex marriage

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Raleigh, N.C. (WBTV) -- Could North Carolina soon have a ban on same-sex marriage? If Republican lawmakers have their way, voters could be deciding on the ban in 2012.

Republican leaders held a press conference in Raleigh Tuesday where they announced their plan to push for legislation when the General Assembly reconvenes in two weeks.

GOP leaders said there is overwhelming support for the legislation.

If a bill is passed it would mean voters would decide if the state constitution would be amended to include a ban on same-sex marriage.

Earlier this this month, House Speaker Thom Tillis told a packed town hall meeting in Cornelius he supports the ban.

"It deserves a fair debate and if it's the will of the legislature to have that then be subject to a popular vote," Tillis said.

But Matthew McAfee, a gay man from Charlotte disagrees.

"I think it's ridiculous," said McAfee. "You shouldn't ban. I mean, if you love a person they should be able to get married."

North Carolina law already defines marriage as being between a man and woman.

But Republican leaders say this extra step is needed to protect it from changed by future legislatures.

That's exactly what Linda Long of Charlotte, who supports a ban on same sex-marriage, worries about.

"At some point and time, I think somebody will find a loophole somewhere and I just think the more that we have there to ban it, the better off we are," she said.

GOP lawmakers also said the amendment would keep the law from being overturned in court which has been the case in other states.

The General Assembly reconvenes for a week starting Sept. 12.

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