Get Out the Vote to Defeat Amendment One in North Carolina!

By Sarah Shanks
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Yesterday I was startled by a video posted by a young man in Kannapolis, NC. In the video he pulls out a shotgun and shoots a “No on Amendment One” yard sign while discussing how marriage is between a man and a woman. In the news, a preacher from Fayetteville, NC is urging his congregation to not just vote for Amendment One, BUT to attack their own children if they are exhibit any “gay” behavior. On top of that, the wife of a North Carolina state senator reportedly told poll workers that the amendment, sponsored by her husband, was intended partially to protect the Caucasian race.

To see such hateful and violent stories coming from places very close to where I grew up and attended college is extremely disheartening and alarming. These are blatant examples of the alienation and bigotry behind Amendment One. I cannot imagine how unsafe and marginalized LGBT folks feel in a state that is pushing something like this amendment.

We are less than a week away from North Carolina’s vote on Amendment One, which states that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” This strict language not only eliminates the possibility of marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships for lesbian and gay couples, but also limits the rights of unmarried heterosexual couples.

As stated on the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families website, if Amendment One were to pass it would ban civil unions and strip domestic partnership benefits, eliminate healthcare and other benefits for public employees and children receiving domestic partner benefits, and threaten protections for ALL unmarried couples.

Because the consequences of this bill are so extreme, many students and community members have been fighting tirelessly to educate voters and get people out to vote against this harmful amendment. Feminist groups in North Carolina have also gotten on board, partnering with their respective LGBTQ organizations and centers and doing things like hosting panels, canvassing, phone banking, and putting on events.

Here are some tips from the Ms. Blog to help you take action against Amendment 1:

  • Follow the Coalition to Protect NC Families on Facebook and Twitter. (Using or following the hashtags #May8 and #Amendment1 will help you keep up to date).
  • If you live in North Carolina, get out and vote against this amendment on May 8, or better yet, vote early (anytime from now until May 5). Find your county’s early voting locations here.
  •  If you don’t live in North Carolina, contact any friends or family members in North Carolina who are likely to be against the amendment and make sure they vote!
  • Wherever you live, call to help get out the vote by joining a virtual phone bank. Sign up for training here.
  • Donate to the Coalition to Protect NC Families. Every dollar will be matched up to $100,000 by a generous couple and used to buy a television ad to get the message out about the harms of Amendment 1.

And a few others from us:

  • Change your status to say “NC: No on Amendment 1”
  • Blog, tweet, yell from your rooftop. Let people know what this this amendment really means.
  • Write a blog post and send it our way and we may feature it on our blog – we want to you hear your stories.
  • Find anyone and everyone you know and ask them if THEY know people in NC – remember 6 degrees of separation: you may be able to change some votes.
  • Contact the Campus Team to discuss other way to get active!

I would really hate to see this ban pass in my home state, where I have many LGBT friends, family members, and mentors. Please help in any way you can during these few crucial days before the vote.

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