Raleigh’s News & Observer weighs in today on news of the anti-gay constitutional amendment introduced last week by Sen. James Forrester (R-Gaston).

Writer Lynn Bonner interviews Forrester, and speaks to Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and others including Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James and Asheville Democrat, Sen. Martin Nesbitt.

“I think we have enough votes to get it passed,” Forrester told the daily newspaper.

Both the Senate and the House are controlled by Republicans, though they lack by four votes the required three-fifths majority needed to pass the amendment in the House.

On Berger:

Senate leader Phil Berger, an Eden Republican, has co-sponsored same-sex ban bills in past years, including in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He said last week that hearings on the new bill haven’t been scheduled because the Senate will deal with the budget and redistricting first.

“I’d say later rather than sooner,” Berger said. “No decision has been made.”

… and Bill James:

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James, a longtime supporter of the ban, said the amendment would make a moral statement.

“The purpose is not just to prevent Massachusetts people coming down,” he said. “It’s also to put a big letter of shame on the behavior. We don’t want them here. We don’t want them marrying. If you’re going to do it in San Francisco, it’s your own business.”

In an e-mail last week, James predicted easy passage. “Bet it will pass with over 60 percent,” he wrote. “The public in my opinion knows the difference between perversity and diversity.”

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.