North Carolina Constitutional Amendment One to
civil unions, etc
Part 3: 2012: Opposition to the amendment.
Additional polling data. Advocacy
Opposition to the amendment:
President Barack Obama announced his opposition to the amendment. Cameron French, his North Carolina campaign spokesman, issued a statement saying:
"While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure 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. ..."
"That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do -– it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it." 1
Protect All N.C. Families is the main pro-marriage equality group in the state. Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for the group said about President Obama's comments: "I think it absolutely does make a difference."
He said that the opposition of President Obama, by nearly every major Democratic candidate, and by the Libertarian Party "... continues to show the broad-based opposition to the amendment ...[and] how harmful and poorly worded it is." 1
Tom Warshauer of Charlotte, who actively promotes marriage equality, said:
"We’d rather have people be for full equality. But this amendment is writing discrimination into the Constitution ... and is just unnecessarily mean-spirited. ... And it’s important for young people to hear from the leader of their country that this shouldn’t be happening." 1
A spokesperson for the North Carolina state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced on 2012-MAY-08 that the were starting to run radio ads recommending that voters reject the amendment. Their opposition was based on the principle that discrimination should not be written into the state Constitution. 2
John Hood, who runs the conservative John Locke Foundation think tank in Raleigh NC, is quoted as opposing Amendment One because it is too extreme. He said:
"... there's a group of people that I would be in the camp of who do care about marriage as an issue, but simply don't think the possibility that other people will get married is a threat. It seems to me that the real threat to marriage [is] straight people getting divorced or never getting married in the first place."
2012-MAR: SurveyUSA poll data:
A SurveyUSA poll of 1,990 adults was conducted for WRAL-TV, a Raleigh television station, between 2012-MAR-16 and MAR-20. Results have a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. Results were:
- For the amendment: 58%
Against the amendment: 36%. 3
According to SurveyUSA:
"The amendment has 2:1 support in Charlotte and Western NC and in Southern and Coastal NC; 4:1 support among
Republicans, 7:1 support among Tea Party members, and 8:1 support among those who call themselves 'very conservative'.'
Democrats and Independents are evenly split for and against.
If both the SurveyUSA and Elon University polls are accurate it would seem that the potential voters are confused:
- A strong majority of voters plan to vote in favor of the proposed amendment.
- A strong majority of voters are opposed to what the proposed amendment would accomplish.
2012-APR-24: Public Policy Polling Poll data:
New polling results announced by Public Policy Polling on 2012-APR-24 shows that support for Amendment One is slipping. The poll found that:
54% of voters plan to support it, while 40% are opposed. This is a margin of 14 percentage points.
The results show a substantial drop in support since PPP's earlier poll in 2011-OCT. At that time 61% supported and 34% were opposed to the amendment, for a margin of 27 percentage points.
The pollsters asked the voters who took part in the poll exactly what Amendment One would accomplish:
- Only 36% correctly identified that it would ban both same-sex marriages and civil unions.
- 26% incorrectly believed that it banned only same-sex marriage.
- 10% thought that it legalized same-sex marriage!
- 27% didn't know what it would accomplish.
When the pollsters informed the voters who took part in the poll of the true nature of Amendment One -- that it would eliminate the possibility of both same-sex marriage and civil unions -- only 38% continued to support it; 46% were opposed. 4
It would appear that the stealth campaign organized by religious and social conservatives is gradually failing. In 2012-APR, we predicted that there is not sufficient time left before MAY-08 for the voters to become aware of the true nature of Amendment One, and to decide to reject Amendment One. Most North Carolina voters seem to be unaware of the nature and implications of the amendment on which they will be voting. Many, perhaps most, think that it is a simple ban of same-sex marriages. In reality, it would ban SSM, civil unions, and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples, as well as any recognition of, and protections for, relationships between the far more numerous opposite-sex unmarried couples.
If Amendment One is passed, then one can expect a major backlash when later find out that they were misinformed by the campaigns of religious and social conservatives. Hopefully, this will make voters more skeptical of any future similar amendments.
Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, issued a statement supporting Amendment 1. Vote FOR Marriage NC, which is the main group promoting the amendment, released his audio recording on 2012-APR-27. He urges voters to : "... take a stand on God's definition of marriage" which he feels is restricted to one man and one woman. Anne Graham Lotx, Franklin Graham's sister, has also indicated her support. 5
WXII reports that: "Many religious leaders also have spoken out against the amendment, saying it runs counter to Christian principles of justice and fairness and would harm children.
Jodie Brunstetter, who is married to state Senator Peter Brunstetter (R), was allegedly heard by poll workers in downtown Winston-Salem saying that her husband sponsored legislation to put the constitutional amendment on the primary ballot "to protect the Caucasian race." In a later interview she reluctantly agreed that she had mentioned "Caucasians," but that her main concern was "that same-sex marriages are not having children." She apparently believes that if the state continues to ban same-sex marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships that somehow gays and lesbians will marry persons of the opposite sex to whom they are not attracted and procreate. We have tried, unsuccessfully, to make sense out of this belief system. 6
Information collected by WXII shows that about $223,000 has been spent on TV ads by those supporting the amendment while about $514,000 -- more than twice as much -- has been spent on such ads by the opposition. The main group opposing the amendment is the Coalition to Protect NC Families. 5
On 2012-MAY-02, the Rev. Billy Graham urged voters in North Carolina to support Amendment 1. He said:
"Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern. I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected.7
His full statement was featured in full-page ads by 14 newspapers in the state during the weekend of MAY-03. It consisted of a picture of Rev. Graham with the following message:
"At 93 [years-of-age] I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear — God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8. God bless you as you vote."
Shortly after posting Dr. Graham's ad we received the following Email message from a visitor to this site:
"His statement about the Bible's message is surprising, because it contains many references to families led by other than one man and one woman. He seems to have ignored Solomon (who had 700 wives), Esau (3), Jacob (2), Ashur (2), Elkanah (2), Rehaboam (3) Abijah (14), as well as Ahab, Belshazzar, David, Gideon, Jeholachin, Jehoram, and Joash all of whom had multiple wives, to say nothing of Solomon's hundreds of concubines. There is also the beautiful passage by Ruth who recited the following vow joining herself to Naomi. It is often recited during marriage ceremonies today, both for same-sex and opposite-sex couples:
'Intreat me not to leave thee, [or] to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people [shall be] my people, and thy God my God' (KJV)."
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Rob Christensen and Tim Funk, "Obama opposes N.C. marriage amendment proposal," 2012-MAR-16, at: http://www.charlotteobserver.com
"N.C. NAACP goes on radio against marriage amendment. Voters head to polls May 8," WXII, 212-APR-27, at: http://www.wxii12.com/
"Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #19082," SurveyUSA, 2012-MAR-20, at: http://www.wral.com/
"Momentum shifts against NC marriage amendment," Public Policy Polling, 2012-APR-24, at: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/
"Franklin Graham backing N.C. marriage amendment. Voters head to polls May 8," WXII, Undated, at: http://www.wxii12.com/
Jordon Green, "Racialized remark about marriage amendment attributed to state senator's wive," Yes! Weekly Blog, 2012-MAY-01, at: http://yesweeklyblog.blogspot.ca/
Martha Waggoner, "Billy Graham backs NC anti-gay marriage amendment," Associated Press, 2012-MAT-03, at: http://www.chron.com/
"Here's Evangelist Billy Graham's full-page ad blasting gay marriage running in 14 North Carolina newspapers," Twelroad, 2012-MAY-04, at: http://www.towleroad.com/
Copyright © 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Tolerance, except for the image of Rev. Graham
Originally written: 2012-APR-18
Latest update: 2012-APR-29
Author: B.A. Robinson