One final push: Our last chance to make a stand against Amendment One

Editor's Note

by O'Neale Atkinson  Editor Emeritus  
Published: April 14, 2012 in Editor's Note

By the time you read this, I sincerely hope that you are registered to vote in North Carolina if you are a citizen of the state. If you have not registered to vote, then you have lost your opportunity to formally speak out against Amendment One on May 8. Sure, you can still spread the word and can attend events to rally others against the amendment and I encourage you to do so, but you have passed up on your foremost individual opportunity to impact the outcome.

For the past few issues I have focused on Amendment One and the importance of speaking out against it. Without beating a dead horse, it has been my hope that using this space as a means to oppose Amendment One will have, at the least, encouraged one person to be more active in this fight. I am not a very political person by nature, but this is an issue that needs to be addressed. In the past month, response against Amendment One has been overwhelming. More and more we are seeing religious groups and conservative political leaders speaking out against this amendment because they see the injustice inherent within the legislation.

Even House Speaker Thom Tillis, who supported putting Amendment One on the ballot, sees the futility of this amendment and believes that it would not last long if it does pass. An N.C. State student asked Tillis about the amendment during a Q&A session, to which he replied, “It’s a generational issue. The data shows right now that you are a generation away from that issue. If it passes, I think it will be repealed within 20 years.”

If that is the case, why would we want to allow such a piece of ephemeral legislation come into play to begin with?

According to polling done at the end of March, six out of every 10 people polled were opposed to the amendment. According to John Robinson, director of communications for the Elon University Poll, “These results reflect what’s occurring nationwide. Opposition to any legal recognition for same-sex couples has been on the decline for a year and support for full marriage rights has been increasing. Our results suggest that the majority of North Carolinians do not want same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships banned in the state constitution. Further, it appears that citizens support at least some kind of legal recognition for same-sex couples, either civil unions or marriages.”

Seeing this change in the opinion of the opposition did not just happen by chance. Individuals, organizations and communities are actively speaking out and informing people of the harm this amendment will do to all North Carolina citizens, not just the LGBT population.

As we have mentioned in recent issues, Jen Jones of Equality North Carolina has been literally running across the state to spread the word about Amendment One since January. On March 2, Jen concluded her run in Wilmington, N.C., completing 322 miles and having hosted anti-amendment events across the state. Her actions have made a difference in this fight and the support she has received throughout her race to the ballot shows that people of North Carolina see this amendment as unjust.

So, what can we do now? With less than a month to go, should we just wait and see the results of our efforts? I believe now more than ever we must continue to push and help to advocate against Amendment One. While the voter registration drives are over, there is still time to sway the opinions of those who are in favor of an amendment such as this. If you still have not talked to friends, family members and loved ones about the importance of this issue there is still time to do so.

You can also make a visual statement against Amendment One. Get a yard sign to display your opposition to injustice. The Coalition offices have some available on their website that you can purchase and you can find them at various places throughout the state. You could also be creative and come up with your own sign and personalize your message against this amendment. I personally have always loved a good graphic T-shirt and there are plenty out there to choose from. On the Coalition to Protect All NC Families website they have a store with some of these items available for sale. It is an easy way to display your stance on this issue and possibly spark up a conversation.

For more ideas on how you can make a stance against Amendment One, you can visit the Coalition’s site. Their website has an abundance of resources and tips for ways to get involved from home to social media sites such as Facebook to out in your own community. Through their website, you can also locate your local field office and find out ways that you can volunteer or be active within your own community. It is now time to really dig in and make this last month before the vote count!

For more information about Amendment One and how you can make an impact please visit protectncfamilies.org. : :