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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NC Anti-Gay Amendment Passes, Denying All Protections for Same-Sex Couples

Thank you for everything!

"Last gasp of discrimination... says little about the prospects for a better outcomein battles to come.”
Press Contact:
Angela Dallara
Communications Associate

RALEIGH – Today anti-gay forces succeeded in adding a discriminatory amendment to the North Carolina constitution barring same-sex couples from marrying, preventing the enactment of civil union or domestic partnership, and precluding other legal recognition for any “domestic union” other than a married heterosexual couple.   Amendment 1 was pushed onto the ballot on a low-turnout primary election day.

Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

“As momentum for the freedom to marry continues to grow in the rest of the nation, today’s vote is a painful reminder of what happens when a preemptive ballot-measure is stampeded through before people have had enough time to take in real conversations about who gay families are and why marriage matters to them.  This amendment is a last gasp of discrimination that will cause real harm to families, communities, and businesses in North Carolina, but says little about the prospects for a better outcome in battles to come in states where there has been greater visibility for loving and committed couples and those who get to know them. And even in North Carolina, the long-term effect of this nasty attack will be to spur more conversations and open more hearts, helping more people rise to fairness and support for the freedom to marry.”

Freedom to Marry is deeply engaged in campaigns underway to defeat an anti-gay constitutional amendment in Minnesota, defend the freedom to marry law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor in Washington state, and win the freedom to marry in Maine – all involving ballot-measures in November.  To support the work in these states, Freedom to Marry launched the $3 million Win More States Fund, which is strategically channeling funds into grassroots organizing, television and radio spots, new media programs, and more.  Freedom to Marry has also long invested in public education that creates the climate for changing hearts and minds-–as reflected most recently in Vice President Biden’s heartfelt explanation of how his thinking evolved to support the freedom to marry.  In 2011 Freedom to Marry launched its national persuasion campaign, Why Marriage Matters, raising and spending an initial one million dollars on message development and delivery, including the creation of television spots and videos and deployment of powerful messengers and personal stories. 

Nationally, a bipartisan analysis of polling data spanning more than a decade showed steady growth in support for the freedom to marry over a 13-year period, with a striking acceleration over the past two years.  In 2011 Gallup found 53% support for the freedom to marry nationwide, with more than half a dozen other polls showing majority support. This surge is the result of evolving positions among every group analyzed, including older Americans and Republicans, groups that have been the least supportive of the freedom to marry.  
Gay and lesbian couples have the freedom to marry in eight states and the District of Columbia.

***Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.