May 6, 2012
– North Carolinian Pam Spaulding writes an open letter to Organizing for America in North Carolina, President Obama’s re-election team in the state, asking for help against Amendment 1:
Dear Organizing for America NC:
Tuesday, May 8th is election day in North Carolina. All the major Democratic candidates and office holders in the state oppose this discriminatory ballot initiative, as well as business leaders and public figures all along the political spectrum. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is also on the record stating that this amendment is wrong for the state.
A little birdie told me that you have a last-minute Get-Out-the-Vote initiative planned — that presents a wonderful opportunity to tell people to going to the polls to vote against Amendment 1.
Back in March I attended a political action committee meeting of the Durham Committee of the Affairs of Black People, and encountered the new Organizing for America Durham field office rep. I introduced myself and told her that those of us against Amendment one were hoping the DNC and the President would step up and actively help defeat Amendment One. I was disappointed to hear this very well-rehearsed response:
“We all have to be on the same team and have to be on the same page so “our main man” gets back in office.”
The implication that asking for this was somehow in conflict with working to re-elect the President. I said, “yes we are, but I’m not asking for anything that the administration has already taken a position on. ”
She replied, “It’s a sensitive situation here.”
Yes, it is a sensitive situation – you know why? Because gay and lesbian couples, unmarried opposite sex couples, children, and victims of domestic violence are likely to suffer harms if this passes. Existing domestic partnerships granted by counties and municipalities will be eliminated. I know that the President is aware and concerned because shortly after the above incident, Cameron French, the Obama North Carolina campaign spokesman, issued a statement saying that the President specifically did not support the North Carolina ballot initiative.
We certainly do not want to see a repeat of the November 2, 2009 OFA get-out-the-vote e-blast to Mainers that did not mention that ballot initiative, Question 1; I know you are well-aware that the President did not take a public position on that referendum prior to that mailing as he has with Amendment One.
The fact that the President is on the record opposing it is why it will now come at zero political cost to him here in North Carolina, in this last window of opportunity before May 8, to remind voters in your upcoming e-mail of Barack Obama’s commitment to call out the discrimination that this Amendment is a priority. Doing so will show that he is taking the ethical and moral high ground represented by the “Hope” and “Change” that he ran on in 2008 — when the state delivered for him in record numbers.
Pam’s House Blend
A native North Carolinian and current resident whose family will face the harms of Amendment One should it pass.
– News Observer talks about last minute get-out-the-vote efforts in the state leading up to Tuesday’s primary election and Courage Campaign members get a mention:
Randall Reynolds, a 29-year-old graphic designer in Los Angeles, has spent time recently in North Carolina fighting against the amendment, building on a similar political battle in California four years ago against an amendment that passed but is now being challenged in court.
“It doesn’t make sense to me that anyone would try to legislate how others live their lives,” Reynolds said. “Gays and lesbians exist. They’re not going away, and they’re having children. Opposing gay rights harms those children.”
Bryan Oklin, 28, a lawyer from Washington, D.C., came to the North Carolina street fair to help tell people about the impact that a constitutional amendment could have on families. The several dozen protesters, who stayed close to the corner where Barfield and O’Connell attempted to sort out their differences, were not who Oklin wanted to focus on.
“We’re really trying to stay positive and let residents of the state know exactly what the amendment does,” Oklin said.
– And more from the Charlotte Observer:
Tuesday’s vote is drawing attention well beyond the state. A New York Times editorial last week, called “Bigotry on the Ballot,” urged “North Carolinians … to consider whether they really want to inflict this gratuitous bigotry on their fellow citizens and their children.”
Members of Courage Campaign, with roots in California, traveled from around the country to North Carolina this weekend to support the anti-amendment cause, according to Adam Bink, director of online programs.
One activist says she has spent over 90% of her waking hours campaigning against the amendment. A supporter of the amendment said if it doesn’t pass now it will never get in the constitution.
– NPR covers Amendment 1 again.
– The Fayetteville Observer notes the far-reaching consequences of the amendment.
– Apparently, if LGBT people keep facing anti-LGBT legislation, we will be encouraged to stop sinning:
And that is what the marriage amendment is. Supporting the sanctity of marriage and encouraging homosexuals to sin no more. Homosexual activity is always wrong, all the time, no matter what. If you support gay marriage you personally encourage the sin.
May 8 can’t come soon enough.
1. Volunteer to Call for Equality – a GOTV phone banking effort against Amendment 1.
2. Contribute to the campaign on ActBlue so they have the resources they need to get our message out.
3. Sign up to help get out the vote in NC yourself! Courage Campaign is arranging out-of-state caravans and travel assistance is available.
4. Sign up for a Courageous Conversation about Amendment One with someone you know in NC.