North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue said Friday her state’s vote to ban same-sex marriage made them “look like Mississippi.”
Voters in the state approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The measure passed 61 percent to 39 percent.
“People around the country are watching us, and they’re really confused to have been such a progressive, forward-thinking, economically-driven state that invested in education and that stood up for the civil rights people including the civil rights marches back in the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s,” Perdue told North Carolina’s WITN-TV. “Folks are saying what in the world is going on with North Carolina, we look like Mississippi.”
Perdue had come out against the amendment, saying it would “harm families” and “write discrimination into the constitution.”
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, fired back at Perdue later in the day by calling her remarks “petty” and “very disappointing.”
“To be able to use Mississippi in a disparaging way on a popular vote in her own state is, I think, something that’s certainly petty and something I think she will reflect on and hopefully apologize for those types of remarks,” Bryant told reporters after an unrelated news conference, according to the Associated Press.
“She’s a very nice lady,” he said. “It’s just disappointing to be able to use Mississippi as she is in some way to disparage a popular vote in her own state. It’s just very, very disappointing. And I think she’ll regret that after she’s had some time to reflect on it.”
He added in a written statement: “Apparently, North Carolina’s voters are much more in line with Mississippi’s traditional values on marriage than those of Gov. Perdue.”
Perdue, who has previously said she will not seek a second term, did not immediately respond to Bryant’s comments.