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Every state but one in the South has banned marriage equality by outlawing unions between two people of the same sex. In fact, they all had an amendment to their state constitutions barring such marriages by 2008. The hold-out is North Carolina.

The reason for that, people on both sides of the issue agree, is because Democrats controlled the state legislature until 2010. They simply refused to let an amendment make it to the ballot.

But Amendment One is on the May 8 ballot. And every indication has been that it would pass with a comfortable margin and North Carolina would become the 30th state whose constitution makes marriage solely a matter for opposite-sex couples. But a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows there's a catch to Amendment One's majority backing. When voters actually learn how far the proposal reaches, they no longer support it.

Not only would Amendment One ban marriage and civil unions between partners of the same sex, it would also end legal recognition of domestic partnerships between unmarried couples of the opposite sex. There are 233,000 North Carolinians in that category, according to the 2010 census:

58% of likely primary voters say right now that they would vote “yes,” while 38% plan to vote “no.” But at the same time, 51% of these voters support some form of legal recognition for gay couples’ relationships, either full marriage or civil unions. 34% of those folks are planning to vote for the amendment. Because of that, if informed that the amendment would ban both marriage and civil unions for gay couples, support goes down 17 points to 41%, and opposition rises 4% to 42%.

Part of the problem is that voters are not well informed about what the amendment does. A 34% plurality say they are not sure on that question. Almost as many (31%) do know that it would ban both gay marriage and civil unions, but then not many fewer (28%) think it would only ban marriage. 7% actually think it would legalize gay marriage. Those who think it bans solely marriage rights are voting 67-30 for it, so 8% of North Carolinians, while misinformed, are voting against the measure simply because they think it bans same-sex marriage alone. Of course, those who think a “yes” vote actually legalizes these unions are voting by the same margin for it.

With less than six weeks to go before the election, that news offers some modest hope for the forces in opposition to Amendment One. Against the odds, they might be able to defeat it if they can get the message out. Stepped-up efforts this past weekend raised $50,000 in 24 hours for the anti-amendment group Protect All N.C. Families. The Raleigh News & Observer has said the opposition campaign may be the second most expensive ever, only outspent by the campaign in Florida in 2008.

The organizers favoring Amendment One are also geared up. Former state Sen. Jim Jacumin said to crowd of supporters on Wednesday that May 8 is “the most important election of anyone in this room” and called for contributions “so we can confront the devils against us on the other side.”

Devils there may be, but the rancid memo that surfaced this week from the anti-equality group National Organization for Marriage shows which side they are actually on. The memo, analyzed here by Scott Wooledge, showed a concerted effort to drive a wedge between gays and African Americans on marriage equality.

The North Carolina amendment is the first of half a dozen marriage-related laws that will be voted on in 2012.

•••

Scottie Thomaston has a post on the subject here.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 08:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women, Angry Gays, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great diary on GOP misleading voters (16+ / 0-)

    Diaries like this are a reminder of how much you were missed during your absence, MB. If we still had an independent media, they would be doing this. Instead, we have you.

    •  The GOP isn't "misleading" anyone (0+ / 0-)

      The text of the amendment is clear for all to see. Its not anybody else's fault if voters decide to approve it without doing their research. I'm not a republican, but it does no good to deny the reality of the fact that most people simply don't like gay marriage and won't vote for it. Even democrats may approve the amendment.

      This amendment will pass because voters support it - not because they were "misled." You could say that about anything, but ultimately it is up to us to be informed.

      •  Actually, they are leaving out... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bear83, saluda, mimi, Dragon5616, Eric Nelson

        The mention of dissallowance of dependent insurance benefits for BOTH same-sex AND straight couples. This is perhaps the most vicious discrimination in the amendment, next to the prohibition of same-sex civil unions as well as marriage. The Repubs here don't want to talk about that aspect of the amendment, but they put it in there.

        There is already "...between a man and a woman" language codified in our General Statutes; we are merely the last Southern state not to have it in our constitution. The Repubs in the General Assembly just added all of those other discriminatory measures into a package they knew their Tea Party and Religious Right supporters would get out and vote for. Interesting that, at the time, they had no way of knowing that Bev Perdue (our Democratic governor) would decide not to run for re-election. But now there is going to be a Democratic primary for that office on May 8, as well. We'll see how it goes. Many prominent Democratic current and former office-holders here have come out against Amendment One.

        "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."--George Santayana

        by GainesT1958 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:10:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why wouldn't they lie about this too! (0+ / 0-)

        If you read the post, you know the lies that are involved. This is typical GOP horses hit. And it does no good to defend it.

        You say "most people" are opposed to gay marriage. I'm not gay, but this is a civil rights issue -- and as a southerner, I recall that North Carolina was not the most backward-ass state in the South. A fair number of NC'ers didn't like secession or the Civil War and all the latter day glory doesn't sound so good to "most" of us.

        More than that, it's been a year since the Gallup poll revealed that a majority of Americans are in favoring of gay marriage. Or maybe "most" doesn't mean what it used to mean, maybe in Repubican terms it means between zero and 49 percent.

        Democrats are not perfect. So what if some of them don't support this. Surprise, some Republicans will. Do you have any idea how many closeted Republicans there are?

        And there are other posts who point out in very specific ways how the Republicans have misled or, as I would now put it more correctly, LIED, to convince people to vote for something that going to fuck them.

        Gay bash somewhere else.

  •  What always worries me, I live in NC, is the (17+ / 0-)

    lack of informed voters who would vote in favor of Amendment One just on the face of it without fully understanding what it truly says.

    Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

    by nannyboz on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:37:01 AM PDT

    •  That is why there are campaigns (13+ / 0-)

      and grassroots efforst, to educate and inform people.

      The good news is the proponents coalition of conservatives is crumbling. High profile conservatives in the state are speaking out, including John Hood of the conservative think-tank John Locke institute and the Libertarian Party is working against it.

      Even the bill's sponsor said it would be repealed in 20 years (so pass it, why?).

      "Good God, Lemon! What happened to you in childhood to make you believe people are good?"--Jack Donaghy

      by Scott Wooledge on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:14:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of that coalition who is still a large problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Boudicia Dark, Dragon5616

        is Art Pope.  His money and lack of voters really paying attention give me heartburn.  I know the grassroots efforts are out there, thank goodness, I worry about those who don't take the time and energy to listen and do the research.

        Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

        by nannyboz on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:35:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, you had one of them above. (0+ / 0-)

      Being an ancient human being, I grew up in the Southern Dark Ages in Alabama. There's a level at which I still have some problems equating black civil rights nth for nth with gay civil rights.

      That was over the issue of color and personal experience. But I got over that, not because my GLBT friends worked me over. It's because my nth of nth didn't leave any room to fuck people over for any reason to do with who they are.

      And that's what this is all about. I'm not opposed to StevenFM the troll because he's stupid, but because he's mislead and he's come here to put us right. So what he seeks to do is to deprive citizens of North Carolina of rights some of them currently have. What he's not doing is anything to actually be informed.

      Here's the deal Stevie. There's no basis to deprive Gays or any other American citizen of a right currently enjoyed whether under the law as it now exists. It is, however, a right wing habit to seek changes to law and constitution that will restrict people in their rights. What good does it do?

      I am not threatened by any gay marriage nor is my family. I'm not afraid of people just because they are gay or black or Muslim or anything else. I am afraid of ignorant, stupid, misguided people who purport to have reasonable position that simply don't have any basis in fact.

      In other words, what was being said above here by stevenfm is codswallop, or as I prefer, total horseshit.

  •  Scottie Thomason did a diary on this yesterday (17+ / 0-)

    PPP-Poll-suggests-when-people-understand-Amendment-1-in-North-Carolina-they-oppose-it

    What's really important to note at the PPP poll is that Independents strongly support defeating the amendment---when they know what the actual impact is.

    What's going to be a real challenge is organizing the Independents to get out and vote on this.

    The Dems---who by a small majority also oppose the amendment, when they understand it---will surely turn out because of the gubernatorial and other offices on the ballot. So, probably, will the Republicans.

    And even though this is a semi-open primary (Independents can vote in either race), it still will be a challenge getting them out.

    Turnout, turnout, turnout.

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:44:39 AM PDT

  •  My co-worker is originally from NC and still has (10+ / 0-)

    a lot of friends (and family) back there.  I'll be sure to give her a nudge... to give them a nudge.

  •  Here's hoping our side has the resources (10+ / 0-)

    to educate people. The money bomb this week is doing well, over $65K last I checked. It's nice that LGBT groups from Washington and Maryland sent out asks to their email lists in solidarity.


    Goal Thermometer

    "Good God, Lemon! What happened to you in childhood to make you believe people are good?"--Jack Donaghy

    by Scott Wooledge on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:10:46 AM PDT

  •  There is no other unifying theory (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VeloVixen, Matt Z, bear83

    that explains all of the various things that "conservatives" or Republicans do and support except that they are ignorant evil or just evil as the case may be.  From homophobia to racism to class warfare to trashing the planet to jingoism to. . . .you get the idea.  It's time for social evolution to extinguish this philosophy.  

    "The bass player is always right"

    by BigOkie on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:10:52 AM PDT

  •  they did something similar in texas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VeloVixen, Matt Z

    a long time ago.

    they changed the way common law marriage worked.  you now have to apply for it.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:17:01 AM PDT

  •  Is there an ad running on TV during primetime (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willyr, VeloVixen, Matt Z, Eric Nelson

    that explains what the amendment is as that might educate voters as to how far it goes? I know it is expensive but I was just wondering.  As that might ben an effective tool.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:18:11 AM PDT

  •  Still waiting for the proposed amendments (0+ / 0-)

    that Outlaw Divorce.

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:26:27 AM PDT

  •  All I can do is hope. (0+ / 0-)

    My best friend is a country gal ( no, not redneck). She is super smart . She votes. Her husband.....whatever. He doesn't vote.

    I don't know how to fight this aggressive kind of ignorance. They both are getting on SSDI/Medicare. What more can I say?
    Il iive in east central FL. We are talking major Belt Belt here.

    Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

    by orlbucfan on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:27:58 AM PDT

  •  How dare heterosexuals live in sin! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maf1029

    Time to have the state inspect your sinfulness, to pay a penalty, and then get on with the state official marriage thingy. What fraking medieval coded church nonsense is this?

    just because man invented God, does not mean that God does not exist

    by MikeMcShea on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:30:25 AM PDT

  •  Sorry, but (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Boudicia Dark

    F the south.  They disgust me on so many levels.  They are a total embarrassment for our country.  We should have let them leave in the 1860s.  

    All they do is hold us back.    Prove me wrong.

  •  I just don't understand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maf1029, bear83, Eric Nelson

    why lawmakers spend so much time policing the sex lives of people they don't know.  It just seems crazy to me that governments are spending time on this.  

    Why are the big issues for churches gay marriage and female sexuality instead of making sure people have food and a place to live?

    If you want to get into other people's sex lives, there is a sea of porn, or at the least supermarket tabloids and People-type magazines.  

    I really, really don't get it.  

  •  Very good informative diary - One of the really... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    We Won, maf1029, bear83, Eric Nelson

    nice things about living in the Asheville, NC area is the diversity of the citizens who give this small city a European flair, and for always keeping it interesting.

    As seen on many a bumper sticker around this city:  "If you are to weird for Asheville; then you're to weird".

    And we hope it stays that way as it's still a fun, and very unique place to live here in the South.

    Thank you for your informative diary, and many of us are working to educate the voters here, but unfortunately, the hard and fast religious folks aren't up to changing their ways, as this won't really affect their lifestyles if it does come to pass, and their pastors on Sundays, Wednesday and Saturday nights (yes, they do go to church that many times here in the mountains) are reaffirming their prejudices to the point of hardcore ignorance of the facts with repercussions of making this a constitutional amendment that will be with us for generations to come.  I cannot blame them entirely as poverty is what many have lived with for generations and their religion has been their only perceived real solid rock of "reality" and hope for their futures here.  That's tough to beat "overnight", I am afraid.  In the same vein, skepticism and disdain towards others who are different and who you do not understand is pretty deep seated as well, and continues to fester as the gentrification from the outside with new ideas and lifestyles unfortunately conflict with what has been the norm here.

    We can only hope that many will learn before just what voting for this amendment means for all of us here in North Carolina.

    “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

    by LamontCranston on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:34:39 AM PDT

  •  The title here is somewhat misleading. (0+ / 0-)

    And so was the poll, which is unfortunate because I usually trust PPP to not be biased in their methods (describing the effects as "consequences" skews results). I personally oppose the amendment, but voters support it regardless of what it says.

    How do I know? Just look at the numbers. Even when they told respondents about the broad scope of the amendment, opposition barely cracked 40%. Based on how similar amendments in the past have gone, all the undecideds usually break for the "yes" side. So even then, it would probably pass with around 60%. Democrats are tied on the issue, and there is no way to defeat it when that is the case.

    Secondly, I know tons of people who say that they support civil unions in theory because they want to sound moderate, but to them this is still about about marriage and they are still going to vote for it. Opponents in other states have tried this same strategy again and again, of making the campaign about how broad the amendment is. They fail every time.

    Also, there won't be a description of the effects on the ballot. All voters will see is the amendment. And they will approve it.

    Most voters are simply not responsive to these arguments. I'm just being realistic. It doesn't matter why we believe it should fail, because most people won't listen. If we actually change the hearts and minds of people on how they feel about gays, then we have a chance - but that will likely take years, and the NO campaign is doing nothing to that effect.

    I'm really not trying to be a buzzkill...just don't want anyone to get their hopes up. It is going to pass overwhelmingly. We should focus on ME and WA where we have a good chance.  

    •  All due respect, but you're a GOP troll or close (0+ / 0-)

      You're personally opposed to the amendment which leads you based on "a ton" of non-scientific friend conversations to conclude everyone is for it, therefore people should go to Maine or Washington.

      Is there something wrong with the South joining the 20th century. Having lied there the first half of my long life, I know the place is filled with loads of good gay people and loads of good straight people.

      What is it about Republicans that lead them to try and outdo the old Segregationist Democrats of the old days. They don't just hate black people, they hate old people, young people, poor people, women people and, oh yes, gay people.

      Gays aren't going to mug you in an alley way to convince you to lose your bias and anti-human rights agenda. But would it really kill you to treat them and the rest of us as human beings -- with all the same rights as any other citizen.

      You signed on KOS in January and you've posted only four comments -- all of them about why this fight is doomed. Don't worry about us. We're mostly grown up and a few of us are probably your professors, assuming you're in college.

      Break free of the young Republicans and try to think for yourself for a change. And don't try to do ours for us.

  •  link to donate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    We Won, Eric Nelson

    Please take a moment to add to all the small donations that the AGAINST coalition has raised already.

    Donate here.

    NC thanks you!

    "Eating your seed corn is not a good business model." - FishOutofWater

    by saluda on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:22:17 AM PDT

  •  Here is a great video with highlights from a town (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boudicia Dark, Eric Nelson

    hall meeting, where some minds were changed and some hearts opened. It has one heartbreaking part that you will never forget if you watch it.

    RACE TO THE BALLOT | Bakersville Town Hall Meeting - YouTube

  •  Whether it's health care reform or gay marriage... (0+ / 0-)

    ... half of our problem seems to be the sheer laziness and stupidity of the American people when it comes to letting the corporate MSM lead them around by the nose and telling them what to think. I'm sorry if that sounds elitist but - geez - the evidence of a disconnect between our messages and our audience has been building for some time now.

    I've lost track of how many polls I've seen where the results show opposition to Obamacare or same-sex marriage when the questions are asked in an abstract way, and yet some of the same surveys then show public support for policies that promote equal rights for everyone or broader access to health insurance for all citizens.

    Maybe part of what's wrong is our fault in that we can't seem to describe ballot initiatives or legislation in bumper-sticker-sized sound bites of six words or less. But it shouldn't be asking too much to expect our fellow Americans to at least put as much thought into their political opinions as they do when considering what they want to eat for dinner.

    How far do we have to dumb down our ideas before we can even get anyone to listen to them? I've begun to despair of our ever breaking through the simplistic, brain-dead slogans our Rethuglican opponents are so good at repeating ad nauseum.

  •  The same person (0+ / 0-)

    is pushing both this and fracking in NC.  His name is Art Pope.  He's big in Americans for Prosperity.  This one individual made 70% of the campaign contributions in the last state legislative election.  Democrats lost it for the first time in 90 years because of him.

    And almost nobody in this state knows his name.

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