Bev Perdue Says She'll Oppose Passage Of Proposed Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage

10/07/2011 04:04 pm ET | Updated Dec 07, 2011

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, a Democrat, signaled on Friday that she'll oppose passage of a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, according to the AP.

“My top priority is creating jobs," said Perdue in a statement. "Too many people are out of work and I’ve heard from several business leaders who’ve told me that the proposed constitutional amendment will harm our state’s business climate and make it harder to grow jobs here."

She went on to elaborate on her position on the issue: "I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman: That’s why I voted for the law in 1996 that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and that’s why I continue to support that law today. But I’m going to vote against the amendment because I cannot in good conscience look an unemployed man or woman in the eye and tell them that this amendment is more important than finding them a job. In addition, a number of legal experts have argued that this amendment, if passed, could eliminate legal protections for all unmarried couples in our state, regardless of sexual orientation. Right now, my focus, the General Assembly’s focus, and North Carolina’s focus needs to be on creating jobs."

The AP reports:

State law already limits marriage to a man and a woman. Amendment supporters say the constitutional prohibition would help the state defend itself against legal challenges by same-sex married couples in other states.

The proposal also would bar the state from recognizing civil unions and other same-sex partnerships.

Perdue's indication that she'll oppose the proposal comes just weeks after the measure cleared the North Carolina state House and Senate. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans.