A local legislator in the General Assembly is taking a stand for same-sex couples. Democratic Senator Terry Van Duyn of Buncumbe County joined a press conference this morning denouncing a bill that sponsors say protects religious freedom. Senate leader Phil Berger introduced the bill that would allow magistrates to opt out of weddings if they have conflicting religious beliefs. That could mean anyone, but Van Duyn says same-sex couples are the ones being targeted.
Sen. Terry Van Duyn: "I represent a district that is home to thousands of same-sex couples and LGBT individuals. Families I know personally who are on my mind as I speak today. These are people who live every day as second-class citizens and are seeking something that you and I utterly take for granted… Denying them the right to live their lives as their true selves is not only wrong, but it stifles our ability as a state to realize our own potential."
Van Duyn was speaking at a press conference organized by the state gay rights group Equality NC. Legislation similar to Berger’s drew controversy in Arizona with businesses and even the NFL issuing threats. Governor Jan Brewer ended up vetoing it.
***You can hear Van Duyn’s full remarks in audio recorded by TV station WRAL by clicking the audio above.
***You can see the whole press conference at WRAL’s website here.