NEW BERN, N.C. — Aldermen of New Bern, N.C., on Tuesday passed a controversial resolution that supports amending the state’s constitution banning same-sex marriage, which is to be put before North Carolina voters in a ballot initiative on May 8.
The resolution was brought before the board of alderman earlier this month by Jerry Schill, co-chairman of the Craven-Pamlico Christian Coalition. The resolution states, “Marriage between one man one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”
The vote was 5-2 in support of the constitutional ban — Mayor Lee Bettis and Alderman Victor Taylor opposed it.
“I will not support any amendment to codify legislation which regulates bedroom activity in violation of the Equal Protection Amendment (14th amendment),” Bettis said. “I’m a Christian. But I’m also an American and the law of the land here and the Equal Protection Amendment says we are all created equal.”
Taylor said that the proposed amendment the resolution was supporting, N.C. Amendment One, was a terrible idea and possibly dangerous with “unknown consequences.”
The mayor also took supporters of Amendment One to task saying, “In this world where division and hatred are at a premium, I am ashamed at this moment … I’m ashamed that we are focusing the American attention away from what we are really good at: ingenuity, creativity, independence, freedom, hard work, education and tolerance.”
Bettis said the resolution would not, among other things, create one job, lower the price of gas, feed the poor or protect the nation’s borders from enemies.
Approximately 30 protesters both for and against the resolution showed up at the meeting Tuesday night with signs proclaiming their support or opposition to N.C. Amendment One. Since it was a Board of Aldermen workshop, the protesters were not allowed to speak.
After Bettis indicated he wouldn’t sign the resolution, Scott Davis, the city attorney, said the mayor pro tem could sign it. But the mayor pro tem is Taylor, who also voted against it.
Taylor said he would not sign it either.