UPDATED: State Sen. Jim Forrester from Gaston County, a leading advocate against gay marriage, has died. He was 74.
A physician and 11th-term senator, Forrester of Stanley has suffered heath problems for several months, according to his sister-in-law, Sally Beach.
On Friday, Forrester and family members went to the mountains near Valle Crucis where he suffered a weakness in his legs. They came home and he was admitted to Gaston Memorial Hospital for tests, reports The Charlotte Observer's Joe DePriest.
Beach said family members were by his side and that things “don’t look good.” He died at noon. A former Gaston County commissioner, the Republican lawmaker was first elected to the Senate in 1990. This year, he became deputy Senate leader.
Long a champion of banning gay marriage in North Carolina, he stirred controversy in September for calling Asheville a “cesspool of sin.” He also drew fire from gay rights groups. In an interview with The News & Observer earlier this month about the controversy, Forrester said he was suffering from health problems but did not elaborate.