Less than a month before the May 8 primary and a vote on the “marriage amendment” and things are heating up. (A reminder: The Elon University Poll results show that 61% of North Carolinians say they oppose the amendment that would prevent any same sex marriages, domestic partnerships or civil unions.)
The Gaston County Board of Commissioners is expected to endorse the amendment this month.
Supporters rallied in Wilson last week.
Rep. Rick Glazier, a Fayetteville Democrat, wrote an op-ed in The Fayetteville Observer, yesterday against the amendment. The sad genesis of this amendment – only the second ever proposed to eliminate minority rights rather than expand them – was, quite simply, fear.
North Carolina colleges and universities are trying to figure out how to approach the issue. A referendum on the North Carolina ballot next month to ban gay marriages and civil unions has created an awkward position for colleges that condemn discrimination but can’t take public stances on political issues. Ten student senates have renounced the measure, as has the Faculty Senate at public Western Carolina University.
Nationally, supporters of same-sex marriage are squabbling over the focus – or lack of focus – in North Carolina. The polling in North Carolina shows that while a majority supports Amendment One, an overwhelming majority doesn’t support it when you tell them what it does. There are a lot of reasons why progressives and pro-equality voters will be going to vote on May 8. If you just look at North Carolina and think, ‘Oh it’s too southern,’ [well], North Carolina went blue for Barrack Obama in 2008. North Carolina is the only state without a constitutional amendment [banning gay marriage.] North Carolina is one of the only states in the south to have protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The thought that they’ll lose, it’s not quite right. There’s a big window of opportunity.
The Washington Post gives same-sex marriage a Western World tint, comparing and contrasting President Obama’s and Prime Minister David Cameron’s advocacy.
– John Robinson