Aiken, others champion battle against Amendment One
Updated: June 18, 2012 at 10:20 am
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RALEIGH, N.C. — Clay Aiken, season two runner up on “American Idol” and a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice” shared his disdain about the Amendment One measure that will appear on the ballot on May 8.
In an interview with The Charlotte Observer, Aiken, who professes to be a born-again Christian, had a “backlash from many who share his evangelical roots after he cam out.” Since then he has received support from Faye Parker, his mother, and his U.S. Marine brother. He also said that with education about Amendment One, many change their minds about voting for the measure.
“For me and for most people, the fight is not a selfish one. I’d be remiss if I tried to make it about just me or just my situation. It’s much bigger than me,” he added.
Aiken’s tenure on “Celebrity Apprentice” so far appears to be a successful venture. He indicates that he has a great deal of respect for Donald Trump, but has not approached this multimillionaire about his impression of Amendment One. Aiken shared that Trump was a “prime example of the type of people we need to reach in order to make sure the amendment doesn’t pass.” Getting voters to the polls to vote against the measure is the top priority from now until the primary, Aiken added.
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Across the state in Hickory, Mitchell Gold, founder and CEO of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, spoke out at a commission meeting where they were voting on a resolution to support the amendment.
The Hickory Daily Record reported that there was a split decision on the resolution. People on opposing sides came to share their views on the matter, either for or against.
Gold said, “Make no mistake what tonight is about. It is the preservation of bigotry.”
Heading over to the mountains, The Citizen-Times in Asheville, N.C., announced that television viewers there and across the state would soon begin to see ads from both factions.
The news source said that pro-amendment Vote for Marriage NC had “paid for 17 spots on WLOS beginning on April 30,” forking over $21,000.
Towleroad.com shared that Todd Stiefel, a Tar Heel philanthropist and straight ally was pledging to match every dollar up to $100,000 contributed to the Coalition. Monies will help fund television spots. The ads began on April 23 from anti-amendment Coalition to Protect All NC Families. They are also soliciting funds from other resources to carry their message on television. Web commentary is already online from former Charlotte Mayors Harvey Gantt (D) and Richard Vinroot (R). Visit goqnotes.com/14861 to hear their comments, along with Gov. Beverly Perdue and a parody from the Coalition.
Additional support has been garnered from the corporate world in the face of Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers. Although not officially from his employer, he has said that a state that is not inclusive is bad business.
The New Bern Board of Alderman recently showed their support of the ballot measure by passing a resolution 5-2, the New Bern Sun Journal reported.
On April 20, Jay Bakker, son of televangelists Jim and the late Tammy Faye Bakker, was in the Tar Heel State speaking out against Amendment One. He visited Charlotte and Durham to attend early voting rallies. Bakker is the first person to receive the Straight For Equality in Faith Communities Award from the national PFLAG organization. An AP report said, “Bakker said though his parents didn’t always bring favorable attention to North Carolina, they taught him that Jesus’s message was to love others.” Gay men with AIDS were embraced by his mother.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported that the Rev. William Barber, the North Carolina president of the NAACP, spoke against the amendment in Winston-Salem at Winston-Salem State University’s chapter of the NAACP. He said, “You should disagree with anybody who is writing hatred and discrimination into the constitution.” He also shared that the amendment violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which “guarantees equal legal protections for all people.”
For ways to support the charge against the anti-gay amendment, visit protectncfamilies.org.
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About the author: Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. News columnist and production director. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 704-531-9988, x205.