Opinion: In North Carolina, the Good and Not-So-Good News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s North Carolina, so, of course, the good news is followed by that pesky dark cloud every time.

You would think everyone in the state would welcome the end of the long saga over House Bill 2, the so-called bathroom bill, which was repealed recently in a compromise. That bill, which had compelled people to use the bathroom that corresponded to the gender on their birth certificates, also said cities could not follow Charlotte’s lead and enact their own anti-discrimination ordinances or a minimum wage and much more.


Same-Sex Marriage Ban Filed in N.C. House

A bill filed Tuesday by four North Carolina House Republicans would reinstate the ban on same-sex marriage, defying a 2015 Supreme Court ruling. The bill titled “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” comes just two weeks after lawmakers repealed North Carolina’s HB2.


WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

In North Carolina, same-sex marriage goes to church

CHARLOTTE — Standing ovations, applause, the sounds of tambourines — and rainbow colors everywhere, on banners and flags and adorning the stoles around the shoulders of clergy celebrating the fact that same-sex marriage is now legal in North Carolina. In a city known for its churches, Holy Trinity Lutheran hosted an interfaith service that resembled a party, as a crowd of 250 – including many same-sex couples and their families — filled seats downstairs and in the balcony.

Though on Tuesday a federal judge said Republican state legislators had the right to challenge the ruling that said North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, on Monday night at Holy Trinity, the mood was joyous.

Experts: Same-Sex Marriage Debate Could Sway NC Senate Race

CHARLOTTE, NC –  Watching debate between North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan and challenger Thom Tills with less than a month to go until the midterms. “Hagan and Tillis have very distinct and different opinions on opposite sides, and they make that very clear,” said WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis. The polls show a close race.

Same Sex Marriage Ruling In VA Affects Politics in NC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A step forward for supporters of same sex marriage. North Carolina officials say they will stop defending the amendment that bans this kind of union.

Lawsuits challenging the state’s gay marriage ban could be filed within the next week. Mary C. Curtis looks at how the politics in North Carolina are taking cues from Virginia.

Virginia same-sex marriage ruling reverberates in North Carolina

When a federal appeals court based in Richmond struck down Virginia’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage on Monday, the effect immediately moved southward.

In North Carolina, also covered by the 4th Circuit, a similar ban — bolstered by a Constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2012 – is also facing challenges in court. As advocates on both sides reacted and politicians involved in tight midterm races took a stand after this latest ruling, the scene unfolded against the backdrop of a museum exhibit that chronicles LGBT history through a Southern lens.

Billy Graham’s legacy and the thin line between church and state

CHARLOTTE — Visitors to Charlotte often travel from the airport to the city center via the Billy Graham Parkway. It can startle the first time, seeing a public roadway named for a major religious figure. But you get used to it once you’ve lived here awhile. You realize how much the region takes pride in its native son, though the life and history of the man called “America’s Pastor” illustrates — in even his own judgment – how tough it can be to maintain a separation of church and state. Should America have a pastor at all?

North Carolina attorney general dislikes laws he must defend

Roy Cooper wants everyone to know how he really feels. That must be why he wrote a column lamenting why and how he thinks his home state of North Carolina is moving in the wrong direction – that, and perhaps he’s trying out for a gubernatorial run in 2016.

What’s next as couples challenge N.C.’s ban on same-sex marriage?


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There’s still challenges in North Carolina with the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Register of Deeds in Buncombe County accepted marriage applications, even though they can’t be filed.

Mecklenburg County, on the other hand, denied same sex couples’ applications last week.


Is Jason Collins the Jackie Robinson of 2013?

In 1947, when Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball, the world was not integrated. The movie “42” would have to last a lot longer than a couple of hours to tell the whole story: the death threats, the insults from fans, opposing players and his Dodgers teammates, Robinson’s separate and unequal trials, the pressure to perform in the face of it all. He was jeered, then cheered by thousands and faced it alone.

There wasn’t a closet big enough for him to take refuge in.

This week Jason Collins, a National Basketball Association center, became, as he writes in his Sports Illustrated cover story, “the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport.” Is he the Jackie Robinson of 2013? No.

Is he unbelievably brave in his own way? You bet.