Gay Advocates Get Hearing In Senate Committee
Associated Press, May 11, 1999
By Dennis Patterson, Associated Press Writer
RALEIGH - Gay rights advocates got a hearing before a Senate judiciary
committee Tuesday, even though their bill to rewrite the crime-against-nature statute
could not be approved this year.
"Would this legalize homosexuality?" Sen. Jim Forrester, R-Gaston, asked
Deborah Ross of the American Civil Liberties Union.
"It would legalize homosexual acts between consenting adults, done in private, not
for hire," Ross responded.
"Sounds like Dont ask, dont tell to me," said Sen.
Frank Ballance, D-Warren. "Sounds pretty good."
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, would rewrite the
crimes-against-nature statute, which applies to anal and oral sex, even between married
"This is an antiquated statute used to discriminate ... against gay people,"
Kinnaird told the Senate Judiciary II Committee. It is the main tool those who
wish to discriminate against gays use."
"This law was designed from the beginning to deny full civil rights to gay and
lesbian persons," said the Rev. Jimmy Creech.
Creech was removed from Methodist churches in Raleigh and Nebraska for his position on
Sen. Brad Miller, D-Wake, devoted the hourlong committee meeting to the bill, even
though it could not be approved under legislative rules. Several senators left.
Since the measure does not affect state spending, it had to clear the Senate by the
crossover deadline two weeks ago to be considered this year.
"The proponents of the bill understood there was no realistic probability this
bill would pass," Miller said after the committee meeting. "They just wanted a
chance to discuss the bill.
"It would be pretty difficult to believe this bill would pass after the House
defeated the hate crimes bill."
The House last month killed a bill that would have expanded North Carolinas hate
crimes statute to cover sexual orientation and other factors.
Asked if he would allow proponents of a bill he did not support to use his committee
for a platform, Miller said, "Yeah, I can imagine doing that."
[Home] [News] [North Carolina]