That’s what Majority Leader Paul Stam (pictured) said today while explaining why a constitutional amendment to prevent same-sex couples from marrying is necessary in North Carolina. Representative Stam (R-Wake) joined Representative Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth), the Speaker Pro Tempore of the NC House of Representatives, for a press conference this afternoon to discuss passage of the amendment. Representative Stam repeatedly compared same-sex relationships to polygamy and adult incest, dismissing a question regarding equal protection from one member of the press. Despite the fact that passage of this marriage amendment would use the North Carolina Constitution to perpetuate rather than eliminate discrimination, Representatives Stam and Folwell explained the House leadership’s determination to push forward. Representative Folwell said that Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) was in full support of the legislation and that the constitutional amendment will be considered during the session convening on September 12th in Raleigh. The reality is that such an amendment would simply institutionalize intolerance towards gay and lesbian couples wishing to stand up in front of their family and friends and express their commitment to one another. Call your Representative and ask that he or she oppose the discriminatory HB 777/SB 106 Defense of Marriage Act.
Representative Stam did get one thing right when he said “this is about the future good of society and children.” This is about the future and whether the people of North Carolina want to live in a state that would give constitutional weight to prejudice. Gay and lesbian couples seek to marry for the same reasons that other couples do; to demonstrate their mutual commitment and responsibility to each other and to their family. It seems that personal and public affirmation of such a commitment would be good for society, for the children being raised in these families, and for the future of the state.