Will Amendment One Lose?

Ken AshfordLocal Interest, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

It might:

Elon, N.C. – A new Elon University Poll released today shows that a majority of North Carolinians oppose Amendment One, a constitutional amendment on the May 8, 2012, North Carolina primary ballot that bans relationship recognitions and threatens protections for the state’s unmarried couples.

The nonpartisan poll revealed that 54.2% of North Carolinians surveyed either oppose or strongly oppose “an amendment to the constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.” Only 37.8% polled were in any way supportive of Amendment One. The poll also illustrates a dramatic increase in the category of “strong opposition” to this type of amendment from only one year ago, with 34% now voicing strong opposition versus 21.8% in February 2011.

Overall opposition to Amendment One increased even further when North Carolinians polled were asked whether they opposed an amendment to the North Carolina constitution “that would prevent civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.” Nearly 57% of North Carolinians (56.9%) polled opposed or strongly opposed an amendment on that basis.

“The Elon University poll is a clear sign that North Carolina is AGAINST Amendment One,” said Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for Protect All NC Families, the coalition effort to defeat Amendment One. “The more people learn about this poorly-written amendment and its unintended consequences, the more they realize it will harm our children, their families, unmarried women, and seniors.”

The Elon poll did not inquire about Amendment One support or opposition based on unintended harms to all unmarried couples in North Carolina, including a permanent ban on domestic partner benefits for public employees, as well as how it could negatively affect enforcement of domestic violence laws, child custody agreements and end-of-life directives. A recent state panel tasked with explaining Amendment One to voters found that there is significant debate among legal experts about how the amendment might impact various legal protections for public and private employee benefits as well as other harms. The panel ultimately concluded that the state’s court system would need to determine Amendment One’s lasting consequences.

“While the Elon Poll does not touch on the vast array of known and potential harms of this type of overreaching legislation—harms that were a reality in other states—it does mirror the momentum we’ve seen in our work on the ground throughout the state,” said Kennedy. The more North Carolinians know about Amendment One, the more support for it plummets.”

UPDATE — President Obama comes out against Amendment One:

President Barack Obama today came out against the proposed constitutional amendment on North Carolina's May 8th ballot banning same sex marriages and civil unions, weighing into a fight in a key battleground state.

His campaign issued a statement saying the amendment was discriminatory.

“While the president does not  weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” said Cameron French, his North Carolina campaign spokesman.

“That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”