North Carolina Amendment 1 is set to be voted on today by Republicans and Democrats alike in the state’s primaries, same-sex marriage proponents are holding their breath.
North Carolina Amendment 1 will effectively codify an existing state law already on the books in that state banning same-sex marriage. The amendment will only recognize marriage as between one man and one woman and will negate civil unions and other forms of legal unions between homosexual couples as well as straight couples.
The language of the amendment states clearly its purpose: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized.”
North Carolina Amendment 1 will cement an already existing law in the North Carolina Constitution that bans same-sex marriages.
According to two recent polls conducted by the conservative organization, Civitas Institute, and the liberal, Public Policy Polling, North Carolina Amendment 1 is expected to pass by 16 and 14 points respectively; though, it is reported that detractors of the amendment have outraised their opponents.
If the amendment does become part of North Carolina’s Constitution it will further represent the polarizing of our nation at the hands of this controversial issue. To date, eight states have legalized same-sex marriage. Maryland became the last to do so in March of this year. In contrast, the 11 states of the former Confederacy will all have clauses in their constitutions prohibiting same-sex marriages, if North Carolina Amendment 1 is adopted as law.
Supporter of the amendment and North Carolina resident, Rev. Billy Graham, 93, stated in advertisements that appeared across the state, “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.”
Opponents of the amendment argue that effectively banning same-sex marriages and civil unions will have drastic effects on the social atmosphere of the state, leading children to believe it is okay to discriminate against others and robbing many of the benefits afforded to them through their legal unions. According to an ACLU of North Carolina report titled, The Potential Legal Impact of the Proposed Same-Sex Marriage Amendment to the North Carolina Constitution, the passage of the amendment will cause many to not receive the domestic violence protection and child custody and visitation rights that are afforded to couples engaged in civil unions and unmarried partnerships.
What is most clear from today’s vote is that the controversy surrounding the issue of homosexual rights in this nation is far from over.