State measures to prohibit same-sex marriage have been quite common in recent years, and tend to do quite well when put to voters. But for Republicans in North Carolina, a simple ban on marriage equality apparently isn't good enough.
Instead, voters in North Carolina are considering whether to add something called Amendment One to the state constitution, which would go significantly further than the more routine anti-gay measures we've become accustomed to seeing. The New York Times editorial board said "bigotry is on the ballot."
In their zeal, lawmakers got careless with the wording of the measure.... It would constitutionally prohibit recognition not just of same-sex marriages, but of other legal arrangements like civil unions and domestic partnerships. That could harm all unmarried couples, imperiling some children's health insurance benefits, along with child custody arrangements and safeguards against domestic violence.The campaign against the amendment is being spearheaded by a coalition of civic, religious, business and civil rights leaders and groups.
As this new ad from Amendment One opponents makes clear, the measure may even jeopardize victims of domestic violence.
The next question, of course, is whether this right-wing proposal is likely to pass. Recent polling suggests conservatives are likely to prevail, despite the amendment's callous radicalism.
Public Policy Polling reported yesterday that its latest survey, conducted over the weekend, found supporters of Amendment One leading opponents, 55% to 41%. The measure's proponents appear to be losing ground as North Carolinians learn more about the details of the proposal -- PPP has consistently found high levels of public ignorance about the amendment's specific provisions, which has undergirded its support -- but time is nearly up.
The vote is May 8, and early voting has already begun. Turnout is unusually high, and opponents believe an upset is "absolutely possible," but for now, the far-right is favored.