JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says it was “petty” for Gov. Bev Perdue to insult Mississippi when talking about voters in her state approving a ballot measure banning same-sex marriage.
Perdue was in Greenville on Friday when she said she was disappointed voters in her state approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.
Passage of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman makes North Carolina "look like Mississippi," Perdue said.
The chairman of the Mississippi GOP said Perdue was out of touch with voters, while that state's governor called the comments disappointing and said he would write Perdue a letter telling her so.
Perdue, a Democrat who isn't seeking re-election to a second term, was in Greenville as part of her tour to tout her proposed state budget for 2012-2013. The governor was responding to a question on the amendment from a reporter from WITN-TV in Washington, "I think it's wrong for North Carolina, clearly and simply," the governor said.
"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 of people, including the civil rights marches back in the '50's and '60's and '70's," Perdue said.
"Folks are saying what in the world is going on in North Carolina. We look like Mississippi."
The chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party issued a statement in response to Perdue's comment, saying his state is proud to stand with those who voted for the amendment in North Carolina and people in other states who support traditional marriage.
"Gov. Perdue is obviously out of touch with the voters of her own state and is trying to change the subject by attacking Mississippi," Mississippi GOP chairman Joe Nosef said.
First-term Gov. Phil Bryant said it was disappointing that Perdue would criticize the North Carolina vote by associating it with his state.
"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 said.
On Tuesday, North Carolina became the 30th state to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The amendment passed with nearly 61 percent of voters supporting it.