Former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot, a former Republican nominee for governor, said Wednesday that he opposes the state’s proposed marriage amendment, The Charlotte Observer's Jim Morrill reports tonight.
Also today, House Speaker Thom Tillis reaffirmed his support for the amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, and his belief that voters will pass it on May 8.
In remarks to students on Monday, however, Tillis predicted that it could be repealed within 20 years because young people are generally more supportive of same-sex marriage rights.
Vinroot on Wednesday said Tillis’ comments reinforced his opposition to the amendment.
“My reaction, was, ‘My gosh, the legislature wants us to put something in the Constitution that the leader of our party – the speaker of the House – doesn’t think will stand the test of time for more than a decade,’ ” Vinroot told the Observer. “I can’t imagine amending the Constitution for something he believes is that tenuous.”
Vinroot is one of the highest profile Republicans to come out against the amendment. U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers of Dunn has also announced her opposition. So has John Hood, president of the conservative John Locke Foundation.
Meanwhile, two prominent Charlotte Republicans, Sally and Russell Robinson, explain their opposition to the amendment in a video posted by amendment opponents.
In the video – one of 95 produced so far by the anti-amendment Coalition to Protect N.C. families – Sally Robinson cites her nearly 59-year marriage.
“It seems so very unfair to us that same-sex couples who want to build a life together as we have should not be able to do that in North Carolina,” she said.
Tillis caught fire from other opponents after his Monday remarks.
Chris Fitzsimon of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch, for example, said, “Apparently the speaker believes it is OK to discriminate against people for the next 20 years or so until the people inevitably rise up to stop it.”
A Tillis spokesman said the speaker was simply acknowledging a generational shift. But Tillis felt compelled to underscore his support for the amendment Wednesday.
“With 64 percent of likely voters in support of the Amendment, I am confident that North Carolina voters will finally have the opportunity to preserve the definition of marriage in our state constitution,” he said in a statement, referring to the results of a recent poll by the conservative Civitas Institute.