Monday, April 30, 2012

NYT: Vote NO on NC's "Careless" Amendment 1

The New York Times on Sunday published an editorial entitled "Bigotry on the Ballot" opposing North Carolina's Amendment One. The anti-gay constitutional measure would ban any other "domestic legal union" except between a man and a woman from being recognized under North Carolina law. The impacts of such a law are unclear but potentially devastating. The heterosexual supremacist religious extremists who put the measure on the May 8 primary ballot intended to just prohibit marriage equality, but the wording chosen would also ban civil unions or domestic partnerships at the state level.

Protect All NC Families is the name of the umbrella group opposing the amendment and they have pointed out that if it was enacted it would prevent domestic violence survivors from accessing protective services offered by the state if the victim is not married to their abuser. Their latest ad makes this point powerfully by showing a prosecutor saying that she gets 150-200 cases a week and if Amendment 1 passes then she would not be able to prosecute any of the cases where the victim is not married to the abuser.

The Times said:
In their zeal, lawmakers got careless with the wording of the measure, known as Amendment One. It would constitutionally prohibit recognition not just of same-sex marriages, but of other legal arrangements like civil unions and domestic partnerships. That could harm all unmarried couples, imperiling some children’s health insurance benefits, along with child custody arrangements and safeguards against domestic violence. 
Polls suggest that defeating this measure remains an uphill struggle, but at least its approval is no longer an entirely foregone conclusion. Much will depend on turnout, especially by voters on college campuses, who will need to vote in larger-than-usual numbers to defeat this declaration of officially sanctioned discrimination. 
Opponents of marriage equality have never been able to show any evidence that any harm is caused to heterosexual marriages by granting all American adults the right to marry as they choose — because there is no such evidence. With little more than a week to go before the May 8 contest, and early voting already under way, North Carolinians need to consider whether they really want to inflict this gratuitous bigotry on their fellow citizens and their children.
One encouraging feature of the fight against Amendment One is the full-throated way that the North Carolina chapter of NAACP has come out hard and strong against the Amendment.

The head of the NC State Conference  of the NAACP president is Rev. Dr. William Barber, II and he is fierce!
"The polls and the politicians are asking the wrong questions on this discriminatory amendment, hatched in the backrooms of the extremist, rightwing think-tanks," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. "Our message is consistent: A vote on the same sex marriage amendment has nothing to do with your personal and religious opinion on same sex marriage but everything to do with whether or not you believe discrimination should be codified and legalized constitutionally. We should never seek to codify or vote discrimination into the very heart and framework of our Constitution."
Dr. Barber continued, "The real insult to the Civil Rights Movement is that the same regressive, ultra-conservative Tea Party type folks suing to overturn the 1965 Voting Rights Act, re-segregating and robbing our public schools of valuable resources, blocking workers' rights to organize, trying to force us all to get photo ID's to exercise our right to vote and cut back on the time and opportunities to vote, and attempting to repeal the Racial Justice Act, now somehow think the sons and daughters of the Civil Rights Movement cannot see through their Trojan Horse trick."
The latest polls show Black voters supporting the Amendment 51 Yes, 39 No, whihc is down significantly from 61 Yes, 30 No from a month ago. Early voting is going thru May 5th in North Carolina and then again on Tuesday May 8th. It would be an astonishing feat if this Amendment is defeated, but even losing by a few percentage points would be an indicator of the weakness in the anti-gay argument: polls suggested that this measure would pass by a blow-out 20-30 points at the beginning of the year.

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