The proposed amendment to the NC Constitution in its entirety: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”
Facts about this amendment you should know:
1. This amendment is not needed to prevent gay marriage: there is already an NC law forbidding gay marriage.
2. This amendment bars the state from recognizing any legal domestic union other than marriage, including partnerships between unmarried men and women.
3. Similar laws in other states have been struck down by the courts – meaning NC will face substantial legal costs to defend the amendment if it passes.
4. This amendment would take away legal protections for the children of unmarried people, including healthcare and prescription drug coverage provided though an unmarried parent and child custody, child support and visitation rights.
5. A child could even be taken away from a parent who has taken care of them their entire life if something happens to the other parent.
6. This amendment would take away domestic violence protections for all unmarried people and could lead to the convictions of their abusers being overturned. This has already happened in another state. (Ohio)
7. The amendment would automatically strip health benefits from unmarried people who receive coverage through their partners, including people with severe pre-existing conditions.
8. The amendment would interfere with the right of unmarried couples to visit one another in the hospital and to make emergency medical and financial decisions if one partner is incapacitated. It would also invalidate certain trusts, wills and end-of-life directives.
9. Seniors wanting to keep these legal protections would be forced to marry, which could cause them to lose their pension, health care and Social Security benefits.
10. If passed, it would be one of a handful of times our state constitution has been used to take away rights rather than grant them. You have to go back over a hundred years to find similar instances (notably forbidding interracial marriage and taking away the right to vote from African-Americans.)
Don’t forget the FACTS when you weigh whether Amendment One is worth it.