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NC: ‘Team Obama’ rallies LGBT community using Amendment One; time for home stretch action

There are many anti-family harms that will affect hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians if Amendment One passes on May 8 — it is an atrocity that has nothing to do with “protecting marriage.” It will wreak legal havoc in this state, place families at risk, and no doubt will clog the courts and chase businesses away from North Carolina, already home to many international companies and private institutions that have pro-LGBT policies.

That’s why it was notable that at the Human Rights Campaign gala over the weekend, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, said that reelecting the President AND defeating Amendment One are critically important. Take a look at this flier from The Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families – it succinctly explains the myriad problems (click for PDF) of this poorly written document – honestly, how can the President and his political surrogates ignore commenting on its harms?

The hurdle in defeating this ballot initiative is NOT whether North Carolinians support some legal recognition of same-sex couples in the state — the polls show 57% do; nearly 80 percent of college-aged voters are opposed to Amendment One. What this amendment does — and those in favor of this discriminatory garbage don’t address this — is that it also bans civil unions and domestic partnerships. The latter exist in several municipalities and counties and would be nullified if Amendment One passes. The problem is educating enough allies/voters about the scope of the harms and getting them to the polls on May 8.

Progress by the campaign so far includes more high-profile voices coming out against the amendment:

  • 2012 DNC Host City Mayor Anthony Foxx of Charlotte also spoke out against the amendment – quite the turnaround from 2005 when then-mayor and now NC GOP Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory refused to sign a welcome letter.
  • U.S. Senator Kay Hagan announced her opposition to the amendment on Thursday night, specifically speaking to the impact on business and jobs:

In today’s hyperpartisan political environment, I view any attempt to alter our state constitution with a critical eye. Amendment One has far-reaching negative consequences for our families, our children and our communities. North Carolina is one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, and this amendment would harm our state’s ability to recruit the innovators and businesses that are driving our economic recovery. Jobs are my number one priority, and we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball and give businesses a reason to grow and expand elsewhere. The people I hear from everyday – the families that make up the fabric of the Old North State – tell me they are sick and tired of watching their jobs and their livelihoods fall victim to divisive partisan posturing. In North Carolina we say our state is “Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great.” Amendment One harms our state’s resolve to make all people and all families great, and as a proud daughter of North Carolina, I urge all North Carolinians to join me in opposing it.

  • On Friday night over 100 people gathered together in military town Fayetteville to raise a substantial sum of money for the campaign and heard from rising star and Lt. Governor candidate, Eric Mansfield, who painted the opposition to the amendment in compelling language.
  • And  Race to the Ballot, featuring Protect All NC Families communications director Jen Jones on a 322-mile run across North Carolina, recently stopped in Charlotte to spotlight “NC Baptists Against Amendment One,” an unprecedented gathering capturing voters putting their faith into action against this discriminatory measure.

Joe Sudbay at Americablog has a great post up outlining why this is a winnable fight – and why Dems need to pony up for this:

Obama for America is putting together a massive organization in North Carolina. The state is a top priority for the President’s reelection. So, this is a two-way street. OFA should put its muscle behind defeating Amendment One. It would be a good practice run for them, too. Last October, the President said, “we’ve got to work hard to oppose” these kinds of measures that “are looking to enshrine discrimination into state laws and constitutions.” If he really means “we,” he can start in North Carolina.

…This first battle of 2012. We keep saying we have momentum. We need to prove it. Two weeks ago, on “Up With Chris,” Maggie Gallaghersaid marriage was on the ballot in North Carolina. She wants to keep their record of winning on referenda intact. If we win, it’s a win for marriage. If we lose, it’s another loss for marriage. If we don’t, it’s our own fault. Pam’s conclusion is spot on:

Not all states are in the same position as Maryland in 2012. In NC and Minnesota we have different battles to win, and all of them are important. I only wish that more of my LGBT peers and allies felt the same way.

One last thing: A lot of people are donating a lot of money to the Democratic convention in Charlotte. Some of those folks really should be contributing to the campaign to defeat Amendment One as well.

You can help the campaign to defeat this amendment by donating here.

* Why fighting the anti-business, anti-family, anti-LGBT amendment in NC is important

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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