No stranger to the marriage equality activism, New Yorker Clinton previous threw in with New Yorkers United for Marriage even pulling in a phone-banking shift at the coalition's SEIU hosted headquarters.
Clinton says "guiding principles" her parents taught her at a young age compeled her to speak out on behalf of "the gay and lesbian North Carolinians who were the original targets of the amendment and the tens of thousands of straight male and female North Carolinians who will be collateral damage if the amendment passes next Tuesday."
I'm certainly old enough to remember that awkward teenager that first entered the White House in 1993. I cheered for her then, and cheer her now. Chelsea has blossomed into a beautiful and intelligent woman, and for a person raised in a fishbowl, admirably managed to avoid the pitfalls of unwanted celebrity.
The polling is onerous, but Clinton says:
Early voting shows that the electorate is younger and more progressive than the one that pollsters are surveying.There is indeed a youth appeal to this issue:
The Speaker of the North Carolina House claimed that this is a generational issue and that in twenty years the amendment will be repealed if it is passes. I believe that the Speaker is correct on one issue: the generation that will determine the future of North Carolina and the future of our country believes in equal rights without qualification and in protecting families regardless of the definition.Clinton is an excellent spokesperson for her generation. Thanks, Ms. Clinton.
Youth turnout on campuses has been strong, and activism, well active. If an upset occurs it will be thanks to the same constituencies that delivered North Carolina to Obama in 2008, youth, and we can thank the NAACP too.
This week, viral video sensation, that handsome, well-spoken kid from Iowa who has two moms, Zach Wahls, fresh off his appearance on The Daily Show swung by the state and taped a message of opposition.
There's so little to say, except this kid is the living embodiment that LGBT people couldn't possibly be a danger to kids. Who can argue with those lesbians' parenting skills if Zach Wahls is the product of their work?
If Chelsea and Zach's generation were the only ones voting, we'd see this measure fail by an insane margin, if only...
Even those who can't yet vote are energized. Mimi Schiffman over at Huffington Post reported on a group of 11-, 12-, and 13-year-olds who organized a field trip to University of North Carolina to GOTV against the amendment. The students were part of a Durham, NC junior high school's gay-straight alliance, GLOW, for "Gay, Lesbian, or Whatever."
These hateful forces that are pushing this amendment are running on borrowed time, and they know it. Rewriting the state constitution is an effort to lock their values into the law of the land, indefinitely hobbling the next generation's options to progress to a more inclusive, 21st century vision of North Carolina.
It would be a shame if they able to pass it and add to the next generation's "to do" list of things that need fixing in the world. Lord knows, that list is long enough already.
Clinton's full letter after the fold.
I believe that everyone must stand up for what is right, whenever possible, wherever possible. I also believe that when the civil rights of any one American or group of Americans in one place are questioned, all Americans, everywhere, should care that the answer is the right one. Those are lessons I learned at a young age from my parents and they are guiding principles in my life.
That is why I am joining you in opposing Amendment One in North Carolina. Amendment One unfairly targets women, children and families, gay and straight, who fall outside of the narrow definition of family articulated by those who drafted the legislation.
It is our duty to join the fight on behalf of both the gay and lesbian North Carolinians who were the original targets of the amendment and the tens of thousands of straight male and female North Carolinians who will be collateral damage if the amendment passes next Tuesday.
Many North Carolinians will lose health care, domestic violence protections, end of life and visitation benefits, and face other serious consequences due to the political agenda of those who offered up the legislation. Those consequences will not discriminate - they will fall on the young, the old, the gay, the straight, men, women, professionals, line workers, union workers. Some of those are my friends - some are your friends, your neighbors, and perhaps even members of your own family.
You may ask why I am joining with you to defeat an amendment that would not harm my family as Marc and I are married under a traditional definition. Well, the answer is simple. When a measure as unfair, poorly worded, and harmful as Amendment One is offered up on a ballot, none of us can afford to be silent.
The Speaker of the North Carolina House claimed that this is a generational issue and that in twenty years the amendment will be repealed if it is passes. I believe that the Speaker is correct on one issue: the generation that will determine the future of North Carolina and the future of our country believes in equal rights without qualification and in protecting families regardless of the definition.
Defeating Amendment One requires all of us to educate voters on the harms to both gay and straight families. Polling continues to show that people do not understand the amendment and what it will do to North Carolina families if we do not defeat it on May 8.
Please sign up today for a get out the vote shift. The campaign tells me that they need several hundred more people knocking on doors to win next Tuesday. Will you sign up now? Everyone in North Carolina will be harmed if this amendment passes and your help is needed.
Do not be discouraged by the polling. Early voting shows that the electorate is younger and more progressive than the one that pollsters are surveying. It is up to all of us to make sure that trend continues - and that all voters understand the real consequences of Amendment One.
The campaign manager also tells me that the campaign is only a few thousand dollars away from hitting their goal for get out the vote resources. Will you contribute $25 today to make sure they are able to educate voters on the harms of Amendment One?
Good luck in the final days of the campaign - lots of people around the country, including me, are rooting for you.
PS - You can vote early against Amendment One until Saturday, May 5. Please click here for information on early voting. If you vote early, the campaign can take you off our list and focus on those who haven't voted yet.
What you can do to help defeat Amendment One:
- Contribute to the campaign on ActBlue so they have the resources they need to get our message out.
- Sign up for a Courageous Conversation about Amendment One with someone you know in North Carolina.
- Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
- Download social media tools and yard signs to show your opposition to Amendment 1.
- Volunteer to Call for Equality—a national, virtual GOTV phone banking effort against Amendment 1.
- Sign up to help get out the vote in NC yourself! Courage Campaign is arranging out-of-state caravans and travel assistance is available.
Breaking update: National Organization for Marriage, as could well have been expected dropped $225K of out of state special interest money into the fight today.
Of course, that's bad news for the media buys. It is however a sign that proponents may be sweating their "sure thing" victory. There is also a rather unfortunate timing of public relations optics, which Scottie Thomaston explains over at Prop 8 Trial Tracker:
A day after the North Carolina NAACP condemned recent racist remarks made by the wife of a sponsor of Amendment 1, the proposed amendment to make opposite-sex marriage the “only domestic legal union” allowed in the state, the National Organization for Marriage announces it’s dropping more money into the proponents’ coffers:Dear voters, please take no notice of those incredibly wealthy, Catholic, Republicans pulling strings on your state from behind their curtains in New Jersey and K-Street, Washington, DC.
Widely known mostly for its own efforts to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks” through divisive media campaigns and other underhanded tactics, the National Organization for Marriage’s involvement in this campaign is not a surprise. But it is interesting that the campaign would go in this direction after all its recent bad press – from racism expressed by proponents to threats of violence and videos of firing shots and urinating on No on 1 signs by supporters – and allow itself to be further defined by strategies from which they should be distancing themselves. If the campaign is going to embrace wholeheartedly this type of strategy then they can’t claim to have the moral high ground any more.