North Carolina state Sen. David Hoyle (D-Gaston) announced Dec. 9 he’d step down at the end of his term in 2010. Hoyle, chairman of the Senate’s Finance Committee, had been considered the third most powerful member of the Senate’s leadership, after President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight and former Majority Leader Tony Rand.
One advocate thinks the senator’s consistent, conservative social views might have played a key role in the body’s slow progress on pro-equality issues.
Equality North Carolina Executive Director Ian Palmquist blasts N.C. state Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam for taking too much time to worry about marriage when there are so many other pressing issues on the table:
The 2009 legislative session has just begun and our state faces huge challenges: rising unemployment, a growing budget shortfall, crumbling infrastructure, and a broken mental health system, to name a few.
So what does NC House Republican Leader Paul Stam spend his time worrying about? Creating jobs? Repairing bridges? Helping those who’ve lost everything in the downturn?
Nope. He’s too busy making sure that my partner and I don’t have-and will never have-any rights or recognition in this state.
Yep, within the first hours of the session, Stam made clear that writing anti-gay discrimination into North Carolina’s constitution was a top priority for him this session.
He doesn’t have real ideas or solutions for dealing with the huge problems we’ve got, but he has a plan to “save” marriage. (He hasn’t managed to explain how letting more loving, committed couples participate in the institution of marriage will damage it in any way, but never mind that.)
What Stam and his cronies don’t like to talk about is that their proposal isn’t just about denying equal access to marriage for same-sex couples. It’s about denying absolutely any sort of recognition or protection for those couples.
No civil union. No domestic partnership. No joint health insurance.