WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — An organization which supported the passage of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment on marriage has said it will “Stop Winston-Salem” and and the city’s recent decision to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.
In a fundraising email to supporters on Saturday, the North Carolina Values Coalition said the Piedmont city’s decision to recognize all legal marriages for the purposes of employee and family benefits is illegal.
“The city has declared they will now recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states — even though those ‘marriages’ are not recognized by North Carolina,” the group said in the message. “Winston-Salem has absolutely no authority to take this step, but they are doing so because they have been emboldened by the equally lawless actions of North Carolina’s Attorney General Roy Cooper when he announced that he would no longer defend our Marriage Amendment.”
The group continued, “We all worked tirelessly to get the Marriage Amendment passed two years ago for this very reason – so that cities and towns and counties in our state could not take it upon themselves to ‘legalize’ gay marriage. And, make no mistake, Winston-Salem’s actions are illegal.”
Winston-Salem is thought to be the first local government in North Carolina to fully recognize out-of-state, legal same-sex marriages by employees. The city does not have a separate domestic partner benefits program.