North Carolina’s unnecessary, unnecessarily cruel, oddly anachronistic – and ultimately successful – effort to enshrine defense of marriage in the state constitution has recently received massive national attention. As gratifying as it is to learn we register upon the national radar and that popular opinion actually ran against passage of the Amendment rather than for it, North Carolinians still lose out pretty bad in this one.. We tried our darnedest but the educated and progressive viewpoint wasn’t enough to overcome ingrained and deeply felt religious teachings.
North Carolinians take their Christianity seriously and hold deeply fundamental beliefs to which the non-churchgoing contingent here always has one ear cocked. The important thing to know about religion in North Carolina (and by extension, Southern states in general) is that evangelical Christianity crosses racial lines. Amendment 1 passed with 60% of the vote in a record-turnout election … but, numerically speaking, not all of that support came from lily-white Republicans!
So, here we are, assessing the fallout. There is some question as to whether election fraud was committed by the pro-passage forces on Tuesday. The North Carolina State Board of Elections will be investigating.
The winning side wasted no time in calling for further repressive measures, such as removing rights and benefits already recognized by private employers for unmarried domestic partners (either gay or straight). That ought to rattle a few cages in uptown Charlotte!
Demands by out-of-state activists to remove the Democratic Convention from Charlotte and to boycott North Carolina in general showed up immediately in the media; on Facebook and via a Change.org petition. Full disclosure: as a North Carolina resident; I cannot support those reactions, folks. You’re hurting the very people you want to help.
The losing side did due diligence and thanked its supporters, of course. Here’s a very nice and encouraging piece by one of the original organizers, posted on BlueNC. The Facebook Group formerly known as ProtectNCFamilies has transmogrified into Repeal Amendment One, complete with a rally scheduled in Raleigh on Saturday,and our own petition drive on Change.org (out-of-state signatures welcomed).
Civil disobedience by gay and lesbian couples will continue around the state; as will efforts to educate and assist unmarried heterosexual couples whose children are caught up in the legalities of Amendment 1’s removal of all rights from every union except a marriage between one man and one woman. This morning’s story in the News and Observer details those issues as well as the ongoing pursuit of legal actions to challenge and repeal the amendment.
There is, of course, the general election in November to consider. Many of Amendment 1’s supporters in the state assembly are targeted for removal by the Democrats, for this as well as for their votes on defunding Planned Parenthood and similar issues. Once the dust settles and the new Assembly is constituted; we might be able to mitigate if not repeal the damage altogether.