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WATCH: Latest TV ad by the campaign fighting to defeat North Carolina’s anti-gay Amendment 1

Marriage equality

By Scottie Thomaston

Today the new TV ad from Protect ALL NC Families, the campaign to defeat the anti-gay Amendment 1 in North Carolina, makes its debut. The ad features Assistant District Attorney of Wake County, NC, Amily McCool. Weeks ago, McCool noted in stark terms what would happen if the amendment were to pass:

Goal Thermometer

McCool has experience prosecuting domestic violence crimes:

McCool currently prosecutes both felony and misdemeanor domestic violence crimes and solely prosecuted these types of cases in Wake County’s specialized domestic violence courtroom. She has a Masters of Social Work and has practiced in the domestic violence field for over 10 years, working with both victims and batterers.

In the ad, McCool says, “Amendment One could take away protections for domestic violence victims.”

The ad, entitled “Amily,” features the domestic violence litigator pulling from piles of files and photos of domestic violence cases of unmarried victims—victims, according to experts from every major law school in the state who could lose their domestic violence protections because of the broad wording of Amendment One.

“This is just a handful of the many, many, many victims that could be affected,” says McCool as she pulls from the stacks of cases of unmarried, abused women.


We have written before about the escalating War on Women and children. This attempt to reach far beyond defining marriage as between a man and a woman, stretching the amendment’s language into a confusing and broad legal phrase that is unprecedented in North Carolina law, will significantly affect women; and it will create another front in the never-ending war to end protections for women’s health, for violence against women, and for health care and legal protections for unmarried women in relationships. Creating confusing legal situations for vulnerable people in need of real help is not something North Carolinians can afford to do.

That is a theme the governor of North Carolina, Bev Perdue, focused on in videos and in a speech to a women’s conference earlier this month. It’s why groups fighting domestic violence oppose the amendment.

Yesterday, even Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz came out strongly against Amendment 1:

And at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee’s executive committee, one member warned that if the amendment passes, gay and lesbian convention delegates may “keep our money in our pockets” at the national convention in Charlotte.

On May 8, North Carolinians will vote on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Opponents and supporters say it also could affect health insurance and other benefits for unmarried heterosexual couples.

“(The amendment) would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples,” party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the meeting at the Westin Hotel.

Read more here:

With only a week or so to go before the election on May 8, voters need to be made aware of the unintended consequences this amendment will have, as well as the true intent behind the proponents’ efforts to push the amendment.

What you can do to help defeat Amendment One:Goal Thermometer

1. Contribute to the campaign on ActBlue so they have the resources they need to get our message out.

2. Sign up for a Courageous Conversation about Amendment One with someone you know in NC.

3. Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

4. Download social media tools and yard signs to show your opposition to Amendment 1.

5. Volunteer to Call for Equality – a GOTV phone banking effort against Amendment 1.

6. Sign up to help get out the vote in NC yourself! Courage Campaign is arranging out-of-state caravans and travel assistance is available.


  • 1. _BK_  |  April 30, 2012 at 7:33 am

    THERE we go. Now that is more emotional and more likely to grab people's attention.

  • 2. Neil Song  |  April 30, 2012 at 8:02 am

    <img src="">No, you're wrong.<img src=""&gt;

  • 3. Jamie  |  April 30, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Wow. That's the lamest, most uninteresting ad that I've ever seen. Clearly, our side has learned absolutely nothing from the Prop 8 fiasco.

  • 4. Kate  |  April 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Jamie, are you sure you're not a NOM troll?????

  • 5. Adam Bink  |  April 30, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I was wondering when the daily compulsory "this will never work, you're wasting your time" comment would come from Jamie.

    In other news, the sun also came out today!

  • 6. johan  |  April 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Jamie, it would help if you explained why you think this. Just making this statement, doesn't enlighten anything.

  • 7. Reformed  |  April 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Somehow less lame and more interesting than chronic defeatism. I like the authenticity. Maybe you would like an ad with a parade in it. Something tells me you would just rain it.

    It's hard to be positive sometimes, but positive thinking can actually help. All of the people heading to nc to gotv certaing will be needing it. Let me give it a try. . . As dreary and demotivating as you comments are, they can actually serve a purpose. They let the rest of us know that this is a straight up blog and that we arn't being censored. So there you have it. Thanks for that contribution!

  • 8. Kyle  |  April 30, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I understand the concept of hitting where it makes the broadest (?) impact. But LGBT families seem to have the most to lose here and I don't see where the campaign against Amendment 1 does much to say so. Will it be a good thing if the No side wins? Sure. But this campaign talking about how straight women will lose their protections against domestic abusers, does nothing to forward the fight for the LGBT community. So what will happen is that the haters will go back, change the language for the next amendment so everyone is clear that it only affects gay people, and just like Arizona, it will win. I think its a mistake when we don't take every opportunity to humanize LGBT folks and speak to the harms it does OUR community.

  • 9. Mike Bernard  |  April 30, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Kyle, I agree, the light of us LGBT People need to be discussed. A lot.

    But we also need to meet people "where they are." Sadly, there are way too many people who don't give a rat's you-know-what about LBGT people and will continue to fight against our well-being. But they might be able to connect to the domestic violence issue and think twice about voting for it. If they vote against the amendment, then mission accomplished! We sometimes have to do an "end run" to meet our goals.

    The conversation about LGBT rights will still continue, no matter what. Keep talking!

  • 10. Petrockmi  |  April 30, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Does anyone ever have these ads previewed by an objective test audience? With a mild
    hearing loss like I have, it is very hard to hear her dialog over the piano.
    I actually had to listen to it 4 times to make out all the words that Amily
    had said, when I was able to put it all together, I was had to sit and
    analyze what the exact message was supposed to be and how it related to all
    NC residents. Granted, I was able to in the end but what I was at a loss as
    to why they chose this example. What they should be trying to do is address
    issues that will have an impact on ALL NC residents in a way that everyone
    can easily relate to, not just the GLBT population. While this is an
    important topic, why not address it differently and use something that will
    make the viewer stop and think about it. The pictures that Amily was using
    as an example barely showed any discernable signs of abuse. Instead try to
    use a picture that is more graphic and will capture the audience's
    attention. From the video that was available on this site, it looked like
    there was barely a mark on the victim of the abuse. By no means am I asking
    for blood and gore, just something that is easily recognizable as abuse, not
    just a minor bruise that could have been received in a soccer match.
    From my point of view, this advertisement was way too soft on the issue and
    will be forgotten by a majority of viewers. The only ones that will
    sympathize with this commercial will be past victims of domestic violence
    and perhaps people that knew them.
    Please don't think of me as a cold hearted SOB, I am not, just someone who
    wants to see in impact from the video.

  • 11. johan  |  April 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Andrew Sullivan has a blog post up about the ad:

  • 12. Fluffskunk  |  April 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Oh god, again with the sad piano music. 😛

  • 13. Reformed  |  April 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Maybe this ad is focused on the less severe types of abuse and the myriad cases. Less severe cases are most likely to benefit from protective orders as the abuser is in less trouble and more likely to avoid more by violating a protective order. I think no one really expects protective orders to be effective in the worst cases. If this is true, the ad might be better if it illustrated that this benefit of protective orders would be undermined by admendment 1.

  • 14. Steve  |  April 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I'm sorry if this sounds defeatist, but I agree with the comments criticizing this ad. It's not pushing back against the *fundamental* principle which the proposition is about; this is the sort of thing that failed miserably here in CA with Prop 8.

    It just doesn't feel, from the outside and a long way away, granted, that there's any FIGHT against the lies and hatred and misrepresentations and bigotry of the anti-SSM groups like NOM.

    Even if you win this fight, they'll be back in short order with a tightly worded amendment which addresses only LGBT partnerships and SSM. And the same lies and religious bigotry as before. It doesn't seem like you're doing anything to get at the *core issues*.

    Where are the ads calling out the lies? Where are the ads that make the case *for* SSM?

    I said it before…I'm an outsider, really, but a long-time straight ally…and I see "our" side getting out-politicked again, by lies and hatred, and no real *fight*. C;mon, folks…get MAD and put together some hard-hitting, effective ads.

    Time is running out on this election. And even if you win, you'll just have the same battle again because they won't give up unless and until they are thoroughly, resoundingly, absolutely hammered in the polls.

  • 15. Steve  |  April 30, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I also have a question, and I mean this in all sincerity. At the blog linked above:

    '[Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for the Coalition to Protect NC Families,] said the campaign has emphasized that gay marriage — already illegal under North Carolina law — will be unaffected by either outcome.'

    So why fight it? Why not let it pass, and then use it as a hard-core example of the hatred, bigotry and misogyny of the radical right wing? Let people SEE and EXPERIENCE the effects of that hatred, the consequences of electing far-right-wing religious bigots to office, the impact of hate groups…THEN the next time a more tightly worded anti-SSM amendment comes up, point to what happened in NC once the real damage is done?

    It sounds cruel and cold-hearted, but chances are this will pass anyway.. Let them have a Pyrrhic victory, and then go win the war using it against them.

    Sorry to be so negative…it's just disheartening to see Prop 8 repeated over and over.

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