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Former mayors Richard Vinroot and Harvey Gantt join growing opposition to North Carolina’s anti-gay Amendment 1

Marriage equality Right-wing

By Scottie ThomastonGoal Thermometer

We have been reporting on the growing opposition to Amendment 1 in North Carolina over the past few months. With polling on the issue seemingly all over the map – one poll says 60% are in opposition, another says there’s a majority in favor, another says when people know what the amendment does they narrowly oppose it – the one thing that has steadily increased is the strong outspoken opposition from the right and the left. It has been particularly interesting to see conservative discomfort with enshrining bigotry into the state’s constitution, with even the GOP House Speaker saying the amendment will be repealed within twenty years if it were to pass.

Today, two former Charlotte mayors, Richard Vinroot and Harvey Gantt appeared together in an ad against the proposed anti-gay amendment. Vinroot is a Republican and Gantt is a Democrat, and this is the first time two politicians from opposing parties have appeared together in an ad to oppose the amendment. It’s also the first time a statewide Republican has recorded an ad opposing an anti-LGBT amendment. Gantt and Vinroot say in the ad that:

…while the two senior statesmen don’t always agree on everything, they do agree that North Carolinians should vote against Amendment One.

“[Amendment One] is unnecessary and may have serious unintended consequences,” says Vinroot. Gantt adds, “And some of those consequences may harm women, children and families throughout North Carolina.”

As former mayors of the state’s largest city and national financial hub, the advertisement also features Vinroot and Gantt pointing out the economic impact of Amendment One. “It may hurt our ability to attract business and job opportunities into North Carolina,” says Vinroot. “But we do know this: if you vote against it, it won’t harm anybody.”

Some of those consequences could mean long-term legal damage for gay and lesbian families and their children, as well as heterosexual families. The amendment’s language could potentially abolish any form of legal recognition for any relationship from marriage to domestic partnerships and affect laws that are meant to protect victims of domestic violence.

Vinroot and Gantt aren’t the only people to point out the negative effects on the state’s ability to attract top talent for business. Back in March, a top executive at Bank of America said the amendment “is a direct challenge to our ability to compete nationally for jobs and economic growth.” Bank of America is an enormous presence in North Carolina, and their global headquarters resides in the state, making their opposition quite significant.

A Republican candidate for Congress in the state also came out in opposition to the amendment yesterday:

“I think we need to look at who are we welcoming here,” Edwin Peacock told a local NBC affiliate. “[Y]ou look at our top five employers, every single one of them has clearly embracing inclusiveness and in general in their behavior as it relates to some of the benefits that they offer.”

The vote is less than a month from now, on May 8th and the latest poll on Amendment 1 suggests that if more people knew what the amendment actually does, it would fail.


  • 1. Ed Cortes  |  April 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

    santorum just suspended his camp-pain!

  • 2. Seth from Maryland  |  April 10, 2012 at 11:29 am

    real good news, if this Gop primary is pretty much over with we might able to pull out a win

  • 3. Sagesse  |  April 10, 2012 at 11:29 am


  • 4. AnonyGrl  |  April 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Also of note, but unrelated, but important… teen pregnancy is down, because education about contraceptives is up.

  • 5. Jamie  |  April 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    This is indeed huge. Harvey Gantt is a well respected and revered Mayor of Charlotte in the 80's. He made Charlotte what it is today. That's not an understatement.

  • 6. Jamie  |  April 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    This is good news indeed. I kind of expected Santorum to hang on through NC just to throw this ballot measure.

  • 7. LoveisForever  |  April 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    my birthday is on may 8th. it'll be a great birthday present to see this defeated. please make sure that happens!!!!

  • 8. Rich  |  April 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Can we get the highly hate-based commentary of Paul Madore and Michael Heath of Maine shared with the good people of North Carolina? Check out As Good As You for a dose of these two buffoons.

  • 9. Tim in Sonoma  |  April 11, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Vote against on May 8th!
    Maybe if the No on 8 campaign had used the word "against" in 2008 instead of "NO" it just might have made a difference. Many people thought "Yes" was a vote for equality! My father was one of them.

  • 10. _BK_  |  April 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

    OT but really cool:

    From a Catholic school, no less.

  • 11. Kate  |  April 11, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Brian this morning claims that the NOMblog has quit banning their "opposition" from posting. HA. Naturally, this is not true — I am still banned, and I'll bet the rest of us are, too. My guess is that this gives his pals the opportunity to post awful, ugly things supposedly from pro-gay posters. And his sheeple will believe they are real.

  • 12. James A. Tuttle  |  April 11, 2012 at 5:54 am

    No, it is true. I just left a comment on their Facebook page, which I have been banned from for about two years. I personally think they have been hacked but whatever, it interesting either way. Check again to see if you can comment.

  • 13. Kate  |  April 11, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I tried on their NOMblog web site before it went down, and I still couldn't get anything posted. Not into FB…………. but glad to hear you've been able to get posted there. Hacked? Maybe another Louis (Hi Louis!) is leaving the ranks? THAT would be incredibly wonderful!

  • 14. Rich  |  April 11, 2012 at 6:52 am

    I just checked the blog site and saw that it went down. What do we think is happening over there?

  • 15. _BK_  |  April 11, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I promise, all of us on this site have already been working on defeating this ballot measure, and we will certainly continue to do so. Be sure to spread your message with those around you! Here's to hoping you'll have an awesome birthday. :)

  • 16. _BK_  |  April 11, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I've been able to access their site. Dunno what's up.

  • 17. MightyAcorn  |  April 11, 2012 at 8:08 am

    It wasn't me….but I did smirk a little at the NOM Twitter logo being hacked to a rainbow flag:

  • 18. MightyAcorn  |  April 11, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Seems like less of a hard hack to me, more likely someone obtained or cracked a password or two. Didn't anyone ever tell NOM to generate random strings of numbers and letters (other than their campaign materials) and change passwords often? I bet they were using the same passwords for all their sites and social media, something like "4RegressiveMarriage" or "CatholicFrontGroup" or something apparent like that.

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