Under the Dome

Dome: Vote for Marriage N.C. to push for amendment

STAFF WRITERSJanuary 24, 2012 

The organization leading the push to define marriage as one woman and one man in North Carolina's Constitution is officially launching its campaign.

Vote for Marriage NC is led by Tami Fitzgerald of the N.C. Values Coalition. It includes various organizations such as the Christian Action League and N.C. Baptists as well as national groups such as the National Organization for Marriage.

In the campaign launch, the group's leaders sought to put the May vote in simple terms.

"The marriage amendment is simple and straight-forward," said Rev. Mark Harris, president of the N.C. Baptists, in a statement. "It's about preserving marriage as we've always known it and making sure that activist judges can't redefine it in the future."

A group opposed to an amendment, Coalition to Protect All N.C. Families, launched its effort last week, highlighting that the amendment would ban recognition of gay marriage and civil unions and other domestic partnerships. (State law currently outlaws gay marriage.)

The pro-amendment committee's website ( www.voteformarriagenc.org) includes information about "why marriage matters" and "the threat to marriage," noting a Guilford County case the group believes exemplifies judicial challenges to the current state law. The group is expected to raise significant funds to further its cause. A campaign finance report is due by the end of the week.

Kissell, Coble to be seatmates

U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell will sit with U.S. Rep. Howard Coble during the State of the Union address tonight.

After a year in which Congress's approval ratings dipped to historically low levels, the Biscoe Democrat and Greensboro Republican will join more than 150 members of Congress who have agreed to cross the aisle in an effort to show voters they're committed to overcoming partisan bickering.

The move is a continuation of last year's effort when many Republicans and Democrats sat together in a sign of unity amidst calls for greater for civility in Congress after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

Sen. Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, will sit with Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Top Dem joins Obama effort

Krista Anderson, the Senate Democratic caucus director, is taking a new position with the Obama campaign in North Carolina.

Anderson told folks Monday that she is leaving the state Democratic Party to become state operations director for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign in North Carolina.

In her new role, she will handle the business end of the campaign, managing logistics, payroll and satellite offices.

Anderson will make the transition in early February. The Obama campaign also will make a move soon, out of its cramped Martin Street headquarters and into a spacious new office.

Frank: 919-829-4698

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