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North Carolina anti-gay Amendment 1 round-up: Chelsea Clinton, George Takei write letters opposing, and more

Marriage equality

By Scottie ThomastonGoal Thermometer

– Chelsea Clinton has written a letter in strong opposition to Amendment 1 in North Carolina:

I believe that everyone must stand up for what is right, whenever possible, wherever possible. I also believe that when the civil rights of any one American or group of Americans in one place are questioned, all Americans, everywhere, should care that the answer is the right one. Those are lessons I learned at a young age from my parents and they are guiding principles in my life.

That is why I am joining you in opposing Amendment One in North Carolina. Amendment One unfairly targets women, children and families, gay and straight, who fall outside of the narrow definition of family articulated by those who drafted the legislation.

It is our duty to join the fight on behalf of both the gay and lesbian North Carolinians who were the original targets of the amendment and the tens of thousands of straight male and female North Carolinians who will be collateral damage if the amendment passes next Tuesday.

Many North Carolinians will lose health care, domestic violence protections, end of life and visitation benefits, and face other serious consequences due to the political agenda of those who offered up the legislation. Those consequences will not discriminate – they will fall on the young, the old, the gay, the straight, men, women, professionals, line workers, union workers. Some of those are my friends – some are your friends, your neighbors, and perhaps even members of your own family.

You may ask why I am joining with you to defeat an amendment that would not harm my family as Marc and I are married under a traditional definition. Well, the answer is simple. When a measure as unfair, poorly worded, and harmful as Amendment One is offered up on a ballot, none of us can afford to be silent.

The Speaker of the North Carolina House claimed that this is a generational issue and that in twenty years the amendment will be repealed if it is passes. I believe that the Speaker is correct on one issue: the generation that will determine the future of North Carolina and the future of our country believes in equal rights without qualification and in protecting families regardless of the definition.

Defeating Amendment One requires all of us to educate voters on the harms to both gay and straight families. Polling continues to show that people do not understand the amendment and what it will do to North Carolina families if we do not defeat it on May 8.

Please sign up today for a get out the vote shift. The campaign tells me that they need several hundred more people knocking on doors to win next Tuesday. Will you sign up now? Everyone in North Carolina will be harmed if this amendment passes and your help is needed.

Do not be discouraged by the polling. Early voting shows that the electorate is younger and more progressive than the one that pollsters are surveying. It is up to all of us to make sure that trend continues – and that all voters understand the real consequences of Amendment One.

The campaign manager also tells me that the campaign is only a few thousand dollars away from hitting their goal for get out the vote resources. Will you contribute $25 today to make sure they are able to educate voters on the harms of Amendment One?

Good luck in the final days of the campaign – lots of people around the country, including me, are rooting for you.

Best,

Chelsea Clinton

PS – You can vote early against Amendment One until Saturday, May 5. Please click here for information on early voting. If you vote early, the campaign can take you off our list and focus on those who haven’t voted yet.

GLAADCAP is watching the Amendment 1 campaign in North Carolina and they have profiled the anti-gay voices in the state. It’s a run-down of facts about these people:

GLAAD today announced the addition of North Carolina based anti-gay activists Ron Baity, Patrick Wooden, Mark Creech and Tami Fitzgerald to its Commentator Accountability Project (CAP). The project aims to educate the media about the extreme rhetoric of many of those who are often interviewed or quoted in opposition to LGBT people and the issues that affect their lives.

– George Takei also penned a letter for opponents of the amendment:

On May 8th, the people of North Carolina will face a choice: To etch discrimination permanently into their state constitution by stripping rights away from thousands of families, or to reject bigotry and intolerance and uphold the principle of equality and fairness.

Amendment One is not an anti-same sex marriage measure. Indeed, same sex marriage is already banned by law in North Carolina. Amendment One’s backers actually seek to deny legal recognition and benefits to ANY unmarried couple, straight or gay.

This sweeping and unprecedented amendment would deny recognition to civil unions and domestic partnerships–legal relationships on which many thousands already rely. Unmarried couples could be prohibited from hospital visitations and refused authority on emergency medical and financial decisions if one partner is incapacitated. Health insurance benefits, currently offered to domestic partners, could be stripped away, denying coverage to children and dependents.

America is about inclusion, not exclusion. It is about recognition of our diversity, and the strength that comes of it. Our democratic process, while designed to fulfill the will of the majority, also protects electoral minorities by guaranteeing certain inalienable rights, such as equal protection under the law. Those are the rules of our civil society, and Amendment One seeks to transgress them.

I urge North Carolinians to send a resounding message to the cynical and divisive forces at work behind Amendment One by voting NO on May 8th. Please share this message with friends and families within that fair state, and tell them we are counting on them to hold firm.

–George Takei

– The North Carolina State Board of Education passed a resolution today opposing Amendment 1:

“If there is stress in the household, there is stress on children,” Tate said. “Children that are under stress are not going to perform as well in the classroom.”

It is unusual for the board to take positions on such topics. Board votes are unusually unanimous and close votes are rare.

Tate said some of his fellow board members didn’t want to wade in to the controversial issue.

“Some of my peers, who I think are against the amendment, did not feel the State Board should be taking it up,” he said. “I felt differently. Fortunately the vote passed.”

– Here are some reasons why “Even Anti-Gay Conservatives Should Oppose North Carolina Gay Marriage Bill

Billy Graham will run full-page ads in newspapers in support of Amendment 1, telling voters that:

“Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern,” said Graham, 93, who lives near Asheville. “I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected.”

I am not sure how the lack of constitutional amendment will lead to further moral decline especially considering that marriage for gays and lesbians is already illegal in North Carolina. Even assuming that if gay and lesbian couples are legally entitled to marriage licenses the country will slip into moral decline, they are already prohibited. Passing the amendment gets rid of other types of unions as well as many legal protections, not passing it changes absolutely nothing.

– State news outlets continue to feature some of the many letters in opposition they are receiving.

– A day after the NAACP denounced proponents of Amendment 1 for saying it would “protect the caucasian race”, and the same day the race-baiting National Organization for Marriage dropped even more money to fund their homophobia, neo-Nazis have favorably linked the “caucasian race” story in support of Amendment 1. Joe My God says:

To recap, Amendment One is supported by child abusers, shotgun-toting creeps, racists, AND Nazis.

Good times. The primary is on May 8. Members of the Courage Campaign team are traveling to North Carolina to help get out the vote in the state. If you want to help by calling or traveling to the state see the links below.

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.

7 Comments

  • 1. Sagesse  |  May 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    @

  • 2. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I have a feeling it's going to take fallout from those affected, gay and straight, before people realize the negative impact of Amendment 1. Unfortunately, it'll be in the constitution at that point. >:-

    Anyone have any polling from Minnesota, Maine, Washington, or Maryland? My gut feeling is to be most optimistic about Maine – had a good conversation with an EqualityMaine volunteer….

  • 3. Seth from Maryland  |  May 3, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Breaking News : Colorado House Committee just passed Civil Union 6-5

    Republican Representative BJ Nikkel voted with all Democrats to advance the bill to the House Finance Committee
    its now very likely this is going to pass

  • 4. _BK_  |  May 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Yeah! Thanks for the update, Seth!

  • 5. johnfromco  |  May 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    It's great news, and even greater: it was mostly not being paid attention to because the right wingers thought they had this stopped, with the nut they have in charge of the house and all. But in the end even he did the right thing today: he let BJ stay on the committee (other right wingers were calling for him to kick her off and replace her with a "proper" person to kill the bill).

    As for BJ, she showed great courage in going against much of her party. She has the majority of the state on her side however, and I can definitely respect a republican that is consistent in her values (that is, limited government intrusion into personal lives, whether that be in finances or the bedroom).

    Now it goes to the House, hopefully. Time is short so it needs to get heard and voted on soon. Focus has to be fuming right now.

  • 6. Bob  |  May 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    good news!!!!! and thanks to Jamie"s skepticism on the other post,,, it prompted me to make another donation to Courage Campaign,,,,,,,

    I like what they're using the money for,,, and how they're taking action to get out the vote,,,,,,, come on last chance,,,, for N.C. challenge everyone else to cough up a few bucks,,,,,,

  • 7. Todd  |  May 4, 2012 at 3:51 am

    in from Colorado… http://www.chron.com/news/article/Colo-civil-unio

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