March 16, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” said Cameron French, his North Carolina campaign spokesman.
“That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”
Equality activists in North Carolina have been pressing the President and the First Lady to publicly oppose the amendment, and the number of people in opposition is growing. Recently, Wooledge noted that the fight in NC is winnable. This move by the president is very welcome and could help steer the conversation in a more positive direction for the equality side.
Hopefully this is also a sign of more changes to come. North Carolina is a battleground state, and the Democratic National Convention will be held there this year.
Update 1 (Scottie Thomaston): Pam Spaulding has a more detailed post up
Maybe someone up the campaign food chain finally figured out there’s no harm in pointing out that discrimination placed in a state constitution is simply wrong. It’s not like we’re asking for an endorsement of marriage equality. He’s got that problem as well — related to the platform — with many of his fellow Dems calling for marriage equality language to be added to it, but that’s not the same issue for North Carolina.
If people are that uptight about that frank and earnest statement of opposition to Amendment One stated above, the President shouldn’t have expected to win over those votes anyway.
Thank you Mr. President.
Update 2 (Scottie Thomaston): Statement from Protect All NC Families via The Advocate:
Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for Protect All NC Families, applauded the president’s stance.
“The President’s support is proof that Amendment One, which could take health care away from children, put domestic violence laws in jeopardy, in addition to hurting all unmarried couples in North Carolina, has far-reaching, negative consequences,” he said in a statement Friday.
Update 3 (Scottie Thomaston): Protect All NC Families now has a petition up thanking President Obama for taking a strong stand against the amendment. Please sign and help get the word out.
And let’s help them defeat this amendment by sending a few bucks their way!
Update 4 (Scottie Thomaston): Geidner raises interesting points throughout his piece on this announcement, especially:
The move is notable because the Obama White House has avoided referencing specific states by name in statements issued by the White House about pending marriage and domestic partnership initiatives and referenda.
In September 2011, for example, when asked to clarify a White House statement issued about the North Carolina amendment — a statement that discussed the president’s general opposition but contained no North Carolina specifics — White House press secretary Jay Carney told Metro Weekly, “I think our position on similar amendments has been clear. I don’t have a specific one on this, but I think you can — our position is clear on this, the President’s position is clear on this.”