Originally published: Feb. 16, 2009, 9:44 p.m.
Updated: Feb. 17, 2009, 8:20 a.m.

SALISBURY, N.C. — More than 100 people turned out to the Monday, Feb. 16 evening meeting of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners as elected officials took up the issue of same-sex marriage.

In a standing-room-only board chambers, members of the board voted unanimously to approve a resolution urging the North Carolina General Assembly to pass a state constitutional amendment banning any relationship recognition for same-sex couples.

“There is only one other county that I’m aware of in this state that has endorsed discrimination,” said Mona Borkowski before the meeting. “I live in a county I love. I’ve lived here 11 years. I don’t want to see that happen here.”

All board members, including the two Democratic members Raymond Coltrain and Tina Hall, said they were in favor of the resolution only because it urges state legislators to allow citizens to vote on the contentious issue of gay marriage.

The resolution had originally been placed on the board’s consent agenda, which falls immediately prior to the public comment period. As the meeting started, the board voted unanimously to remove the resolution from the consent agenda, which fell before the public comment period. It was made the first item on the board’s regular agenda, immediately following public comment.

“We are going to do the same thing we are asking the state to do,” said County Commission Chair Carl Ford, as the item was moved to the regular agenda. “We will give people the right to speak.”

Despite having a massive list of citizens desiring to address the board during public comment, County Board Chairman Carl Ford cut off the public comment period after only 18 citizens had spoken. Speakers were evenly split between those against the resolution and those for it.

“Putting the rights of a minority to the vote of the majority defies the very essence of our republic,” EqualityNC board member and Salisbury resident Rod Goins said during the public comment period. “The Founding Fathers set up our constitutional democracy to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.”

A local pastor, Garland Faw of Truth Temple Bapitst Church, spoke during the public comment. He quoted Leviticus 20:13, conveniently forgetting that particular scriptural call to put homosexuals to death. Faw was followed by Ante Pavkovic, a member of the radical street preaching group Operation Save America.

Following the vote, the board recessed for 15 minutes. Dozens of on-lookers gathered in the Rowan County Government Building to discuss the vote while at least a dozen more loaded back on to a church bus to head home.

“The citizens of the state have a voice and a right to settle this issue,” said Democratic Commissioner Tina Hall. “I support this and think that giving voters the chance to have a say is important.”

Chairman Carl Ford said that two state senators — James Forrester and Jim Jacumin — had asked every county commission to draft resolutions in favor of the marriage amendment. “I couldn’t ignore that,” he said.

Members of the Concord, N.C.-based organization Operation Save America, along with other anti-gay protesters, remained outside the building the entire evening with signs and placards condemning LGBT people to spiritual damnation.

The board’s resolution will be forwarded to members of the North Carolina General Assembly.

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

10 replies on “Rowan board votes in favor of anti-gay marriage resolution”

  1. Thank God. Once again marraige between a hetrosexual couple will complete what God wants. Divorce never happens and their children will be 100% heterosexual because of this. Thank you Rowan county for your strentgh on this matter.

  2. They were in favor of the resolution because it allows the mob to limit the rights of the minority.

    And it lets them feel good about themselves because they are soooo much better than those nasty homosexuals (who they mess around with in dark parking lots, but don’t talk about that little bit).

  3. It’s years from now, after acting like bigots and when they’re older, that people will realize what fools they made of themselves to get caught up in taking away someone’s rights. Sure, they can rationalize it all they want now, that this “isn’t about rights” and that homosexuality “isn’t about race”. But how are they going to rationalize when their grandchildren find out about their actions one day and look at them differently as only a child can when a child finds out that an adult doesn’t have the heart the child once thought they had. Think about it: what motivates these people and board members today, ten year from now their grandchildren will be shaking their heads and asking, “what’s with that”??? There’s a reason for that; because hatred…always goes out of style.

  4. i am so sick and tired of religion interfering with MY HUMAN RIGHTS! I am not religious, so homosexuality IS NOT A SIN TO ME! and no, i’m not going to hell because I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in Hell either.

    I am so infuriated with fundamental religious people. I don’t care what religion you believe, but don’t try to make ME live by your religion. I’m not trying to make every single person I meet gay!!

  5. Oh goodie, God wins again. Go to hell all ye faggots b/c you are not welcome in Rowan Co., home of the holy. Thank GOD some of those Temple preachers are doing the work of the LORD as handed down to us in in Leviticus, even if they did leave out that part about stoning whores to death and that eating shrimp is an ABOMINATION UNTO THE LORD, say it, all ye righteous!!

  6. It’s always darkest before the dawn. Dont give up. We will see equality as long as we continue to speak up where injustice raises its ugly head. Eventually truth wins out and the darkness of biggotry will be replaced with the light of love. it happened with womens rights as well as african Americans. Be patient, be vigilent, be present and be active. It sucks, but its not over!

  7. I am very upset that this is happening in my home state. A state that I love and don’t want to leave. It is ridiculous that they even let a preacher get up and speak. His religion is just that; HIS. Not mine, not my neighbors, not the church down the street. Just HIS. Now why in the word is the government letting one mans opinion dictate my life. So other people agree with him. Other people agree with me. No one is more right or more wrong. Its just different opinions. Different opinions shouldn’t affect the rights and privileges given by the government.

    All I can say is Separation of Church and State!! My family preaches love unlike this guy who preaches hate. My one promise to you is I won’t go down with out a fight!!!

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