North Carolina has the dishonorable distinction of becoming the first state to put an anti-gay marriage amendment on a 2012 ballot.
On May 8, voters in the state will weigh in on the North Carolina’s Amendment 1, 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 significantly limits the rights of all unmarried couples.
We in North Carolina’s LGBT activist community feel we have a strong chance at defeating Amendment 1. Our country is reaching a tipping point around same-gender marriage. In the last year alone, we’ve hit several key milestones. Some highlights:
- May 2011: A Gallup poll showed that the majority of Americans support same-gender marriage.
- June 2011: The New York State Legislature passed the Marriage Equality Act.
- September 2011: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was officially repealed.
- February 2012: Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a law legalizing same-gender marriage. Federal courts ruled both California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
- March 2012: Following Washington’s lead, Maryland became the eighth state to legalize same-gender marriage.
But we need your help. Watch this video to find out how–no matter where you live–you can help turn the tide of discrimination and beat North Carolina’s Amendment One.
To recap, you can help defeat Amendment 1 by taking any or all of the following five simple steps:
- Share this video with your friends and family far and wide, and 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! No need to change minds here; we just need to get our allies out to vote! For talking points, go here.
- 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.
Tracy Hollister is a feminist, policy analyst, Unitarian Universalist and full-time marriage equality advocate.
Melody Moezzi is a writer, activist, attorney and award-winning author.