Community organizing to fight Amendment One: Part 1

By Staff Writer, Benjamin Sepsenwol

In the months leading up to the May 8th ballot on Amendment One, a referendum to prohibit same-sex marriage in North Carolina, numerous people and organizations have openly condemned the proposed amendment, including NAACP , North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, and even President Barack Obama.

“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot 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 Obama’s North Carolina campaign spokesperson, Cameron French, in a statement on Mar. 16.

Greensboro is not far behind. On February 7, the Greensboro City Council voted to oppose the amendment. In addition, numerous individuals and groups in the area have been active in campaigning against the amendment. Opponents state the amendment will infringe upon the rights of North Carolinians, stripping privileges many couples, both heterosexual and same-sex, currently enjoy.

“One thing that’s really frustrating is that the media says the amendment will redefine marriage as between a man and a woman, but it’s more than that,” said Maria Rosales, associate professor of political science. “It (Amendment One) will also dissolve civil unions and domestic partnerships.”

Losing the benefits that comes with civil unions has implications for thousands of North Carolina residents. Some potential consequences of Amendment One include lack of legal protection against domestic violence and loss of health insurance coverage for unmarried couples.

Other opponents object to the amendment based on its implications for the constitution, believing it will negatively impact social justice in the United States.

“American history is a history of expanding rights,” said UNC Charlotte Professor of Political Science Ken Godwin said in a video interview. “This is really stepping away from that. It’s a complete break from what America believes in, which is equal opportunity and equality under the law.”

Over the next two days GuilCo SoJo will be covering various groups and organizations involved in campaigning against Amendment One. Tomorrow we will present the efforts of people in and around the Greensboro area. On the final day we will examine what the Guilford community has done to oppose the amendment.

For more information on the topic, please explore these links:

Greensboro City Council opposition 

Effects on couples

Comprehensive Guilfordian coverage

Professor Ken Godwin  

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