On North Carolina’s Amendment One

Many states are going to the polls today. Dick Lugar’s career is likely to end today in Indiana as the crazy wing of the Republican Party turns him out in a primary. And North Carolina votes on Amendment One.

Yesterday, I was invited to an after-election party in Raleigh by one of the anti-Amendment One forces. Amendment One seeks to enshrine a same-sex marriage ban in the state’s constitution, even though North Carolina already has a law on the books that outlaws same-sex marriage. There’s nothing insufficient about the law for the purpose, the state Republican Party wanted a ballot measure that would draw conservative voters to the polls. They wanted it on the November ballot to swing the state back to the Republicans in the presidential election, but due to dealmaking with the Democrats it ended up on the primary ballot. Unfortunately, what they came up with went far beyond a same-sex marriage ban. Amendment One eliminates any defined relationship that isn’t a married heterosexual couple, which will affect North Carolina’s unmarried families. Amendment One will play havoc with the state’s laws and disrupt families.

Here’s what I wrote on Facebook this morning as an exhortation to my North Carolina friends on Election Day:

Election Day has arrived in several states. I trust that all my North Carolina friends have voted or will vote against Amendment One. It is unnecessary; you already have a law on the books banning same-sex marriage. But Amendment One goes further than that; it also eliminates civil unions and domestic partnerships for unmarried couples, whether gay or straight, and will gut the state’s domestic violence laws. There is no compelling reason to enshrine the homophobic and misogynistic Amendment One in your state’s foundational document. Take a stand for humanity and compassion over intolerance. Vote against Amendment One today, North Carolina.

Amendment One is more than just bad law. It’s cynical politics. It doesn’t exist for any good reason except to enflame the passions. It needs to be voted down, and I hope, for the sake of all my North Carolina friends who will be affected by it, that Amendment One is consigned to the scrap heap of history.

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