Gay marriage is not a threat to heterosexual marriage. It is time for us to put that argument behind us. You cannot separate the issue of civil rights. It is one of those absolute, immutable principles. You’ve got to have not just civil rights for some, but civil rights for all of us.

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) in 2009.

The NAACP, on its historic decision to embrace marriage equality yesterday: ”We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”

(via think-progress)

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has told University of North Carolina graduates that last week’s gay marriage vote shows there is still a lot of work to be done for civil rights in this country. Bloomberg spoke Sunday to thousands of graduates at Kenan Memorial Stadium.

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue warned on Thursday that Amendment One, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, could remove protections against domestic violence for unmarried women.

“It would ban the state from recognizing civil unions, strip away domestic partner benefits and it actually could eliminate legal protections for all unmarried couples in the state,” she said in a video on YouTube. “This will harm the stability and security of North Carolina families like never before.”

“The amendment I believe is dangerous for women,” Perdue continued. “There is a real risk that some laws we have on the books now to protect the victims of domestic violence may no longer apply to many women in the state.”

Because the proposed amendment states that marriage between a man and women is the “only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized,” opponents have said that it could render domestic violence laws invalid for unmarried couples.

Our strong advice to anyone who disagrees with same-sex marriage is not to get married to someone of the same sex.
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the British gay, lesbian and bisexual charity Stonewall, quoted in BBC News - Church ‘does not own marriage’ (via tartantambourine)

Behind-the-scenes efforts are slowly gearing up for a referendum next May in which North Carolina voters will decide whether to engrave a ban on gay marriage into the state constitution. Pro- and anti-amendment forces are assembling campaigns that will raise money and build support for their causes.

In an era of increasing acceptance of same-sex relationships in the U.S., well-funded national groups that view North Carolina as a flashpoint on the gay marriage issue are preparing to get out their checkbooks. At least one is already spending in a bid to sway the outcome May 8 in the only Southeastern state that doesn’t limit marriage to a man and a woman in its constitution.

The full congregation of Raleigh’s Pullen Memorial Baptist Church voted Sunday to prohibit the church pastor from legally marrying anyone until she can legally marry same-sex couples under North Carolina law. The congregants said in a formal statement that current North Carolina law - and the language proposed for a vote next year on an amendment to the state Constitution - discriminates against same-sex couples “by denying them the rights and privileges enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.”