Dome: Amendment is too broad to get Ellmers' vote

rchristensen@newsobserver.com and cjarvis@newsobserver.comOctober 2, 2011 

U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers says that she opposes same-sex marriages but that she intends to vote against a proposed constitutional amendment banning them that will be on the North Carolina ballot in May because it would also ban civil unions.

Ellmers, a conservative Republican, was asked her opinion on the Defense of Marriage amendment during an appearance last week at Campbell University, and her answer might have surprised some listeners.

Dome heard about Ellmers' remarks and asked her office for clarification. Her spokesman, Tom Doheny, confirmed that she planned to vote against the constitutional ban that was adopted by the legislature in September because it is too broadly drawn.

"Congresswoman Ellmers has always believed that marriage is a sacred institution and is defined as the union between one man and one woman," Doheny wrote in an email. "That is why she has and will continue to protect and defend marriage at the federal level.

"When asked about civil unions, which are different than marriage, she said that she finds nothing wrong with people being granted them but at the same time, it is currently a state issue and up to the voters to decide," Doheny said.

"As a voter, she would vote against a piece of legislation that would add a ban on civil unions to the protection of marriage since they are two different issues and should be dealt with separately," he said.

Ron Paul to help Jones

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul goes to Greenville for a fundraiser for Rep. Walter Jones this week.

Paul, a Texas congressman, is scheduled to appear at a "Restore Liberty Rally" on Friday at the Greenville Convention Center. The cost for the barbecue dinner is $25 for adults and $10 for students.

Jones, who has endorsed Paul, last month criticized media "arrogance" for the lack of coverage of Paul's second-place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll. He told The Hill publication that "fair-minded people don't know why Ron Paul is not given adequate press." Jones said he was particularly disappointed in the conservative media's coverage.

Both Jones and Paul oppose the war in Iraq.

A close look at Art Pope

Don't forget to pick up a copy of this week's The New Yorker magazine, which is running a substantial profile of Raleigh chain store retailer and conservative financier Art Pope. The magazine looks at his influence on politics, and The New Yorker got help in gauging that from Democracy North Carolina, the campaign finance watchdog group.

The organization prepared charts that detail more than $40 million that Pope has directed to his favorite causes, according to Democracy NC's Bob Hall.

Pope's biggest investment has been in the John Locke Foundation, the conservative think tank he co-founded.

His family foundation accounts for nearly $20 million, or 79 percent, of the John Locke Foundation's income over a decade.

rchristensen@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4532

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