Following the introduction of a bill in the N.C. General Assembly that would ban gay marriage in the state, many opponents of the legislation are relieved to hear they at least have President Barack Obama’s support.
Republican senators in the state legislature said earlier this week they want to add an amendment to the state constitution that would ban recognition of gay marriage.
But Wednesday, Obama said he believes it is unconstitutional to treat people differently, especially in the case of marriage, based on their sexual orientation.
And he directed the Justice Department to stop defending the law in court.
Reaction from UNC
“For the Carolina community, it gives us a little bit of hope,” said Billy Kluttz, the co-president of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Straight Alliance at UNC-CH.
“It cools us down a little bit after the General Assembly announcement and restores some of our faith in Obama.”
Reaction from Democrats
Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, said she’s pleased with the president’s announcement, calling it a “step in the right direction.”
“Though I admire his decision, it will have no impact on the state of North Carolina, because this is a conservative state and the Republicans have just gotten in power for the first time in 100 years,” Kinnaird said.
“They have introduced the bill to place such a concept into the constitution, which says that marriage in the state of North Carolina is only between a man and a woman and it will probably pass in the referendum.”
Reaction from Republicans
“Traditional marriage is a core value that has strengthened our nation, and it is a value that is protected by federal law,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., in a statement.
“By ordering the Attorney General to stop defending federal law in court, the president is taking another step towards politicizing the Justice Department.”
“It is the president’s job to defend the laws of the land or pursue legislation in Congress to change them,” Burr said.
“The administration is charting an irresponsible course with this decision.”
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