HRC Blog

Middle School Students Challenge Congressional Candidates on Marriage Equality Stance

Post submitted by Chloe Stokes, HRC Digital Media Intern.

Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders at Greensboro Montessori School demonstrated their overwhelming support for marriage equality at a candidate forum on Wednesday. The students were given the opportunity to question eight GOP candidates for the 6th Congressional District, and chose to focus on marriage equality, as well as other issues like climate change and immigration reform.

Sixth-grader Lana Torres got to speak with Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., one of the candidates contending to replace U.S. Representative Howard Coble. She began by showing her support for same-sex marriage, and asked Berger how we would work for equality in marriage laws.

“Two years ago, the voters of North Carolina overwhelming approved Amendment One, which only recognized traditional marriage, and I was a leader in that effort,” Berger said. “I was the spokesperson for traditional marriage in North Carolina, and I am very much in favor of traditional marriage.”

Amendment One was a ballot initiative in North Carolina that aimed to make same-sex marriages unconstitutional for the state to perform or recognize. The amendment was passed in 2012, banning marriage and other forms of recognition for gays and lesbians across the state. HRC participated in the Coalition to Protect All NC Families, and had staff in the state leading enormous outreach efforts.

Torres was able to speak with Berger after the conclusion of the forum, where she continued to tell him of her support of marriage equality. “He talked about a man marrying a dog,” Torres said to reporters from the Greensboro News & Record. “I found that really offensive, that he would compare a gay marriage to something so offensive and outrageous.”

Torres’ tremendous support of marriage equality is evidence of the vast youth support that can be seen across the nation. As of 2013, 70% of young Americans support marriage equality, a substantial amount compared to the 58% of all Americans who share the same view. 

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