A Simple Explanation of North Carolina’s Amendment 1: Vote AGAINST

If you live in North Carolina, you're about to vote on a ballot measure that is so poorly crafted, it could end up creating chaos in the state. 

The ballot language that voters will face is this: 

Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.

If this measure is approved, it will add the following to Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution 


Sec. 6. Marriage.

Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.

First of all, the language in the ballot measure does not match the language in the section that will be added to the North Carolina Constitution. That alone should earn an "against" vote. 

But look at what the law actually does. It means the only legal "union" that has to be be recognized by the state is a licensed marriage between a man and a woman. ALL other "unions," unless you go through the trouble of hiring a lawyer and drawing up a contract, are null and void. 

This means, if a man and a woman are living together, but aren't married, they essentially lose any rights they might have had before. A woman who is beaten by her boyfriend probably won't be able to bring domestic battery charges against him and protect her, because the state isn't allowed to recognize their relationship as "domestic." What rights will their kids lose, because their parents aren't seen as "domestic partners"? It's even possible that employers who currently provide benefits to "domestic partnerships" will no lonr be able to do so, because such arrangements will be against current law. 

This isn't just a homophobic law; it's a poorly written law that could have extremely negative consequences that go far beyond simply making "gay marriage" illegal. By the way, same sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina, so you should be asking "What's the point of this?" anyway. 

As you can see, it's very simple to get people to understand why they have to vote against this. Constitutions are supposed to restrict govenment excess. Whenever you try to write behavioral restrictions into a constitution, you've guaranteed a boondoggle. 

Vote AGAINST Amendment 1, North Carolina!