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Monday, May 7, 2012

Amendment One highlights NC's bigotry

I often wave my North Carolina birth certificate at people, even though I was raised in South Carolina. South Carolina is many times the butt of  jokes; thank you Mark Sanford.

But what's going on in North Carolina, where I now live, is no joke. Tomorrow is election day in the Tar Heel state and the main thing bringing voters to the polls is Amendment One.
Here's what this thing is:
The measure would define marriage in the state constitution as between one man and one woman, and would ban any other type of "domestic legal union" such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. Same-sex marriage is already illegal in the state of North Carolina. The proposed measure, however, would add the ban to the state constitution.
This measure isn't just about gay marriage. It's about families and discrimination. Point blank, it's damned stupid.
If people want to get married--same sex couples included -- the government knows damned well that they benefit.
Married people pay higher taxes. North Carolina is broke, right?
Stable families stay in towns and cities longer, buy houses, pay property taxes and add to communities.
And when it comes to attracting businesses and workers, why would a California company want to relocate to a state that has discrimination built right into its constitution? Again, North Carolina is broke -- right?

And Amendment One does more than just prohibit same sex marriage, it punishes couples who haven't gotten married but have children.
The amendment could invalidate certain domestic violence protections for unmarried couples, gay or straight. 
And of course, churches-- both closed minded ones and progressive ones -- have voiced their opinions on Amendment One. I thought we lived in a country where there was a separation of church and state?
Protect All Families NC defines some unintended side effects of this measure:

A child of an unmarried parent could lose their health care and prescription drug coverage, putting the child’s health at risk. 
A child could be taken away from a committed parent who has loved them their entire life if something happens to the other parent.
Amendment One threatens existing child custody and visitation rights that are designed to protect the best interests of a child.
Amendment One bans all other legal relationship recognitions—prohibiting North Carolina from ever recognizing civil unions and domestic partnershipsThousands of North Carolinians rely on these legal protections. Removing these rights creates far-reaching and long-lasting harms for families from all walks of life.
Amendment One would interfere with protections for unmarried couples to visit one another in the hospital and to make emergency medical and financial decisions if one partner is incapacitated.
This is no joke. This measure must be stopped. 

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