The Protect ALL NC Families coalition has released their third ad opposing the amendment that would add the following language to the North Carolina constitution:
Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.
It revisits and reinforces the message the first ad unveiled a week ago. In that ad a survivor of domestic violence discussed her fear of the Consequences
Amendment One's passage may have on her safety and that of her daughter.
Proponents of the bill continue to call the danger to domestic violence laws "lies" but thus far no one other than their three paid hired legal guns-for-hire "experts" seems to be agreeing with them. Their "experts" practice in the areas of international law, military litigation, free speech, church and state issues. None of them appear to have any experience in family, criminal litigation, or constitutional law.
Featured in the newest ad is Assistant District Attorney Amily McCool, who can rightfully be described as an "expert" on this subject, having handled hundreds and hundreds of cases of domestic violence prosecutions for Wake County, North Carolina.
In particular, McCool often relies on domestic violence law N.C. Gen. Stat. 50B-1 (2009). That statute reads:
For purposes of this section, the term “personal relationship” means a relationship wherein the parties involved:
(1) Are current or former spouses;
(2) Are persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together;
(3) Are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren;
(4) Have a child in common;
(5) Are current or former household members;
(6) Are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship.
At issue: will defense attorneys be able to argue the state cannot "recognize"
many of these relationships for the purposes of prosecuting crimes? No one knows. Every law professor in North Carolina
says it's possible. Roy Cooper, NC's Attorney General called the law
"unclear, unwise and unnecessary" and said it "will also result in a significant amount of litigation on many issues which will be decided by courts for years to come."
We do know the state of Ohio spent several years arguing about this very issue while 27 men were able to get their charges overturned or dismissed.
If anyone is an "expert" on domestic violence law, I would think it would be McCool who works with these laws day in and day out.
Another expert is Elizabeth Froehling, executive director of North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Froehling wrote in Durham, NC's Herald-Sun: "Amendment One: A real danger to domestic violence victims."
A sad, and (to me) surprisingly high statistic is that 50,000 North Carolinians seek domestic violence services each year.
In Virginia, where a similar amendment was considered and subsequently passed, domestic violence programs frantically tried to come up with ways to get more victims into shelters because victims could no longer access protective orders that kept them safe in their own homes. Our state will see the same problem. An increase in the need for shelter by unmarried victims of domestic violence means more money spent on sheltering while abusers are allowed to stay in their homes. It also means that already strained shelter programs may have to turn away victims fleeing abuse.
Proponents of the amendment say its passage won’t negatively impact domestic violence victims. But we know the far-reaching harmful consequences are a real possibility. In Ohio, after the passage of an amendment less restrictive than the one being considered in North Carolina, defense attorneys successfully argued that domestic violence laws did not apply for unmarried people because the state’s Constitution didn’t recognize a special status for unmarried people in a marriage-like relationship.
It's striking that proponents of the bill seem so blithely unconcerned about 50,000 families who need the protection of the state from their abusive, but unmarried, partners.
McCool previously framed this topic with a very sharp point:
It has been a mere week since the first TV and radio spots from both sides hit the air waves. In in the time since, the bill's proponents have completely lost control of the messaging. If you do a Google news search, it is very apparent proponents have lost the "earned media" market. Mainstream news stories are overwhelmingly unflattering.
The proponents from Vote for Marriage NC, National Organization for Marriage, Family Research Council, Christian Action League and others are sending out furious fundraising pleas, with NOM's President Brian Brown saying:
"My friend, for the first time, I'm truly concerned that we could lose this battle."
Of course, when you're determined America should live in the 18th century, your hair has been on fire since women began to show their ankles in public. But, there is a definite sense of desperation
. And it is entirely possible that the response ad they put up on the fourth day
may have been swiftly created because Vote for Marriage NC's tracking polls showed opponent's ads were effective. There was time to gather that data.
Maybe they should just admit Amendment One is fatally flawed and will hurt too many other people? They can always write a another Amendment and try again. The status quo seems the safest vote for protecting North Carolinians.
In-state donors step up with generous gift
As the race has tightened, and it really appears the momentum is building toward defeat, more and more people are stepping up to help the campaign bring it over the finish line. Last night the campaign relayed this good news:
We have had another North Carolina couple step up to give a six figure gift and HRC has also continued to step up. We could use another $300,000 in gifts and we need national donors to help us bridge that gap. We have two outstanding major asks to NC donors and we can spend to the end — although television buying ceases Thursday, latest.
The New York Times
posted an editorial "Bigotry on the Ballot." In it they praised the leadership NC NAACP's Rev. William Barber
and note Amendment One's "approval is no longer an entirely foregone conclusion."
Opponents of marriage equality have never been able to show any evidence that any harm is caused to heterosexual marriages by granting all American adults the right to marry as they choose — because there is no such evidence. With little more than a week to go before the May 8 contest, and early voting already under way, North Carolinians need to consider whether they really want to inflict this gratuitous bigotry on their fellow citizens and their children.
A full house phone banking Sunday to GOTV at Amity United Methodist. Early voting ends Saturday,
primary day is Tuesday, May 8. (Adam Limehouse/Twitter
What you can do to help defeat Amendment One: