North Carolina joins Minnesota and Indiana in the race to the bottom. Fearing that the Tarheel state will be known in the future as the only southern state not to embrace bigotry and discrimination, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions on a vote of 75-42.
Unlike the Hoosier state, Democrat politicians stood up in droves to fight the amendment. Back in my home state, Minority Leader Pat Bauer - who won an award by the ICLU for his "courage" in defeating the amendment while he was Speaker of the House - voted in favor of the proposed amendment. The North Carolina Democratic Party Chair also forcefully opposed the amendment while Indiana's party chair allows anti-marriage equality mailings to be sent in the party's name to voters.
Debate on the House floor started shortly after 2:30 p.m. on MOnday. The majority of speakers throughout debate were Democrats opposed to the measure.
Asheville's Susan Fischer warned her colleagues that history would judge them harshly. "In the not too distant future we will be apologizing yet again for more unfair and discriminatory practices," she said, citing the state's past history of civil rights abuses.
In all three states, polling has shown that most voters don't support the amendments. In North Carolina as in Indiana, large corporations and small businesses alike stood up against the legislation, but the GOP proved yet again that discriminating against LGBT people is a higher priority than pleasing their corporate masters.