Vote against the marriage amendment
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen of North Carolina. Part of what makes our state so great is the cultural diversity.
Unfortunately, this diversity has come under fire by a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution. Amendment One uses vague language to define opposite-sex marriage as “the only domestic legal union.” Gay marriage is already illegal in North Carolina, and the nondescript language of this amendment could have far-reaching effects for many individuals, families, and children, not just same-sex couples.
The Human Rights Campaign has stated that, of all 29 states that have already passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, “North Carolina’s proposed amendment is among the most restrictive in the country.” This amendment’s language reaches well beyond same-sex marriage and, due to its ambiguity, also has the potential to tear apart many kinds of families.
Amendment One bans all legal relationship recognitions beyond opposite-sex marriage, which would prevent North Carolina from ever recognizing civil unions and domestic partnerships. Thousands of North Carolinians rely on these legal protections, and removing them could dramatically impact the health of families and individuals from many different backgrounds.
For instance, if Amendment One becomes law, a child of two unmarried parents (who live together) could lose health care and prescription drug coverage, putting the child’s health at risk. That same child could also legally be taken away from a loving, committed parent if something were to happen to the other parent.
Amendment One isn’t just discriminatory; it is hateful and prejudicial. On May 8, the citizens of our state have a chance to upend the status quo and insist on equality for each and every North Carolinian, regardless of sexual orientation.
By voting “No” on Amendment One, we can secure and maintain the diversity within our state that is of such incredible value. I urge each of my fellow North Carolinians to do just that.
– Ryan Smith, Community Organizer for Neighbors for Equality, Denver, NC