At no time in history has denying basic freedoms stood on the side of what is right and just. Amendment One will potentially deny loving and committed unmarried couples the freedom to protect their families through healthcare benefits, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. There are very few freedoms more basic than protecting those you love.
North Carolina already denies gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry. The law defining marriage between one man and one woman was passed in 1996 and there is little to no chance "activist judge" will overturn it. Still, Thom Tillis and the Republican majority in Raleigh spent their time this legislative session devising a plan to write it into North Carolina's Constitution.
Tillis has admitted the law will not stand the test of time:
It's a generational issue," Tillis, a Republican, was quoted as saying. "f it passes, I think it will be repealed within 20 years."
Tillis spokesman, Jordan Shaw, has acknowledged that the speaker has had a difficult time justifying the Amendment in light of the conservative philosophy to limit government intrusion into private lives.
This is one reason some prominent Republicans have lined up against Amendment One. Rep. Renee Elmers, former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot and John Locke Foundation's John Hood have all spoken out against Amendment One.
...conservative Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers of the 2nd District says she will vote against the amendment. While she believes in the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, Ellmers says she thinks the amendment could be used to ban civil unions, and that she does not support.
I think amending North Carolina’s constitution to forbid gay and lesbian couples from receiving any future legal recognition, including civil unions, is unwise and unfair. In my opinion the real threat to marriage is not the prospect of gay people getting hitched. It is the reality of straight people too quickly resorting to divorce, or never getting hitched in the first place.
Prominent Charlotte Republicans Russell and Sally Robinson:
Elon University polls show a majority of citizens opposing Amendment One, while PPP polls show a majority of voters supporting the Amendment. What is most disturbing is the PPP poll also shows a majority do not understand exactly what Amendment One will do.
- -Only 31% of voters correctly identify that Amendment 1 bans both gay marriage and civil unions.
- -28% think that it only bans gay marriage.
- -7% think that it actually legalizes gay marriage.
- -34% admit that they don't know exactly what the amendment does.
Obviously, we have a lot of work to do to educate voters in North Carolina. There are some wonderful organizations working to defeat the amendment. I wanted to do something beyond talking with friends and neighbors or making a few phone calls, so over the past several days, I've put together a Letter to the Editor campaign tool that should facilitate letter writing campaigns. Currently it includes a list of links to a large number of newspapers that require letters to be submitted on their own web form. These links will open in a new window, so you can quickly copy and paste your letter from paper to paper. I would suggest tweaking it a bit for each one as they don't like multiple entries.
Also included is a form, available only to registered users, that lists all papers that receive letters by email. Once you fill in the required information and write your letter, you may send the email to as many newspapers as you like. Once you hit submit, the emails are sent for you with your email and contact information showing in the header. Please stop by and give it a try.