Three people including Jim Neal, a gay former candidate for the U.S. Senate, were arrested Thursday afternoon in Raleigh at a protest against a constitutional amendment that would ban marriage and other unions for same-sex couples in North Carolina.
WRAL reports on the action, which involved protesters running on to the state House floor to shout "liberty and justice for all" while lawmakers were in session. Those arrested included Angel Chandler, the North Carolina organizer for GetEqual; her partner, Nancy Counce; and Neal, an Asheville city councilman who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2008.
WRAL reports that some 200 people protested outside the legislature against the amendment, which if passed would likely head to voters for consideration on the 2012 ballot.
"The amendment's Senate sponsor, Sen. Jim Forrester, R-Gaston, has said that he's been promised by senate leader Phil Berger that the amendment will be voted on in September during a special session devoted entirely to constitutional amendments," reports WRAL.
Pam's House Blendreports that Neal was released about four hours after his arrest, and Chandler and Counce were released later. Neal's court date is set for July 11.