The State Board of Education passed a resolution today opposing the constitutional amendment on marriage by a vote of 5-4.
Board member John Tate of Charlotte proposed the resolution because, he said, passing it will cause disruption in families that will hurt children's classroom performance.
The amendment, which would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, will cause some people to lose health insurance, will weaken domestic violence protections for unmarried couples, and may hinder business recruitment, Tate said.
These are all points amendment opponents make. They are refuted by amendment supporters who say the constitutional amendment supports families and children.
"If there is stress in the household, there is stress on children," Tate said. "Children that are under stress are not going to perform as well in the classroom."
It is unusual for the board to take positions on such topics. Board votes are unusually unanimous and close votes are rare.
Tate said some of his fellow board members didn't want to wade in to the controversial issue.
"Some of my peers, who I think are against the amendment, did not feel the State Board should be taking it up," he said. "I felt differently. Fortunately the vote passed."
Update: Tate asked the board to pass a 4 1/2-page, 34-paragraph resolution. The board ended up passing a stripped-down, one-paragraph version.