Anti-gay constitutional amendment passes in North Carolina
May 08, 2012 at 08:13 pm
Disappointing news out of North Carolina tonight. We just learned the discriminatory Amendment 1, which adds an amendment to the state's constitution banning all marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership for same-sex couples, passed today. State law already prohibits the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
Our Founder and President Evan Wolfson released the following statement moments ago:
“As momentum for the freedom to marry continues to grow in the rest of the nation, today’s vote is a painful reminder of what happens when a preemptive ballot-measure is stampeded through before people have had enough time to take in real conversations about who gay families are and why marriage matters to them. This amendment is a last gasp of discrimination that will cause real harm to families, communities, and businesses in North Carolina, but says little about the prospects for a better outcome in battles to come in states where there has been greater visibility for loving and committed couples and those who get to know them. And even in North Carolina, the long-term effect of this nasty attack will be to spur more conversations and open more hearts, helping more people rise to fairness and support for the freedom to marry.”
North Carolina's legislature narrowly passed the sweeping anti-gay constitutional amendment last September. Proponents of the anti-gay measure snuck it on the May ballot, at a time when they knew there would be low voter turnout and a more favorable mix of voters on their side.
But nevertheless, we know that this amendment will be short lived. As more Americans actively engage in discussion around why marriage matters for same-sex couples, support for the freedom to marry is growing every day around the country, including North Carolina. Even Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis - one of the leading supporters of Amendment 1 - predicted, when speaking to college students at North Carolina State, that the amendment "will be repealed within 20 years."
We will continue to engage Americans in a conversation about why marriage matters to gay and lesbian families until all loving and committed couples can share in the freedom to marry. While it is always a challenge for a minority to persuade the majority to vote to change discrimination, the history of our country is that over time, people rise to fairness – and we are confident that is what will happen in the battles to win the freedom to marry in the months and years ahead.