Fmr. Upstate senator says he was 'off the mark' on gay marriage - FOX Carolina 21

Fmr. Upstate senator says he was 'off the mark' on gay marriage

Posted: Updated:
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The issue of same-sex marriage is a dicey one in the state of South Carolina.

Now, the man who led the cause for the state constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage has something to say about it.

"I see it differently now," said former state senate Republican John Hawkins. "I believe my former position was off the mark."

Hawkins said this change has come after years of reflection.

Back in 2005 and 2006, he was the 'point man' on what was then known as South Carolina Amendment 1, defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Since then, he said it wasn't one instance that changed his mind - it was time.

"What made me rethink it was that I was so strident against it back in the mid-2000s, and I examined why I was, and whether it was what I believed today," said Hawkins.

"Mr. Hawkins has deviated from a very significant platform plank," said Chadwicke Groover, chairman of the Greenville Co. Republican Party. "That is unfortunate."

Groover said, when same-sex marriage is looked at politically, support for it in the state is still low. Groover also said the lack of support wasn't just for religious reasons.

"There is a host of issues - non-Biblical, societal issues for why it was a sound position. And those positions are convincing for most of our people," said Groover.

Groover said defining marriage as between a man and a woman helps build stronger families and helps reduce crime. However, those findings vary, depending on the source of the studies.

Both Hawkins and Groover admit there's been a change in attitudes towards same-sex marriage nationally, but differ on the statewide attitudes.

"It's going to require a change of beliefs in this, which I think is taking place," said Hawkins.

Groover said, "I think the majority of South Carolinians have not (changed their beliefs)."

Hawkins said he's "evolved" on the issue of same-sex marriag, and thinks others should, too.

"I think discrimination of any kid is going out the door. And I think it should," he said.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
Fox Carolina
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, WHNS; Greenville, SC. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.