Contact: Latoya Veal, 202-628-8669, ext. 116
Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill
May 7, 2011
The National Organization for Women urges North Carolinians to vote against "Amendment One" as they head to the polls tomorrow, May 8. The proposed measure would amend the state's constitution to say "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in the state."
Since same-sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina, this amendment would enshrine discrimination in the state's constitution. This mean-spirited and discriminatory amendment does not represent the pro-equality state of North Carolina. It is the work of a limited number of people who want to be sure that same-sex couples are permanently denied equal rights and recognition of their lifetime commitment.
This far-reaching amendment doesn't hurt only same-sex couples, but all unmarried couples -- including opposite-sex. In addition to placing a permanent ban on civil unions, Amendment One would also strip the domestic partnership benefits currently afforded to unmarried public employees all across North Carolina.
Amendment One could interfere with protections for all unmarried couples, such as their ability to visit one another in the hospital or make emergency medical and financial decisions if one partner is incapacitated. It could also hamper the enforcement of wills, trusts, and medical powers of attorney, exclude partners from private employer healthcare benefits, as well as threaten domestic violence protections for all unmarried women.
Simply put, Amendment One would allow the state to dictate to North Carolinians what constitutes a "family." NOW activists in North Carolina are working hard with allied organizations across the state to defeat this discriminatory constitutional amendment. We are determined to uphold the basic rights of the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their families.NOW.org | Press Room