September 16, 2011 | by Chris Johnson
Hagan responds to N.C. marriage amendment

Sen. Kay Hagan (photo courtesy Hagan's office)

The office of Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) says the lawmaker is “wary of attempts to alter constitutions” in response to a proposed constitutional amendment in her state that would ban same-sex marriage.

“Senator Hagan implores elected officials everywhere to focus on lowering the nation’s unemployment rate and remains wary of attempts to alter constitutions in the heat of today’s charged political environment,” said Mary Hanley, a Hagan spokeperson.

The spokesperson issued the statement via email in response to the Washington Blade’s request for comment on whether Hagan opposes the measure, which will come before North Carolina voters in May 2012.

The statement doesn’t explicitly mention the amendment or state direct opposition to the measure. It’s similar to a statement the White House first issued to the Washington Blade this week saying President Obama “believes strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away” without conveying explicit opposition the amendment.

Hagan has been a friend to the LGBT community since she was voted into office in 2008. She voted in favor of hate crimes protections legislation and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. She voted as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee in favor of ending the military’s gay ban even before the Pentagon issued its report in November.

The Blade also has a request in to the office of Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) asking whether he opposes the amendment. His office hasn’t respond to the request for comment.

Burr voted in favor of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, but only after the Pentagon report came out. He also voted against cloture on the repeal measure in the Senate and twice against cloture for the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill when the measure carried the repeal language.

 

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

3 Comments
  • The Mere Fact that The (North Carolina) Constitution did not previously have a specific ban against Gay Marriage makes the Anti-Gay Marriage LAW that is currently in effect Un-Constitutional (specifically in N. Carolina).

    The fact that the GOP Legislature additionally demonstrates their understanding (albeit unadmitted) that their/NC law could not withstand a (NC) Constitutional challenge, and if it, meaning the Law itself, were capable of standing alone, then there would be no need for a Constitutional ammendment, and their current efforts to create such a ban proves this.

  • So is it legal to take constitutionally guaranteed rights away from just one group of people? I thought these were unalienable (etched in stone) non revokable rights.

  • Respectfully, is it really that hard to say,

    “I am opposed to this mean-spirited, overreaching amendment that will take existing benefits away from first responders and other local employees. This amendment goes far beyond so-called protecting marriage. It would actively harm North Carolina citizens and lead to a legal battle due to the poorly drafted language rushed through the legislature. I will vote no, and I urge all North Carolinians to vote no.”

    Anything less than saying “I’m opposed; vote no,” is simply not enough from anyone in any party at any level of government.

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