Pro-Prop 8 Witness, Asheville City Council Oppose Amendment One

David Blankenhorn

The coalition continues to grow against North Carolina’s discriminatory Amendment One, which would ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. Last night, the Asheville City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing the measure, and there were not even any dissenting public comments.

Perhaps even more striking this week is an op-ed by David Blankenhorn and Elizabeth Marquardt of the Institute for American Values, an organization that typically opposes the freedom to marry. Blankenhorn was the “star witness” called to testify on behalf of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, but his testimony largely served to help the couples fighting it. Continuing his seeming appreciation for the experience of same-sex families, Blankenhorn and Marquardt argue that Amendment One goes too far in its “disdain” for gays and lesbians and their children:

The proposed amendment states that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” That’s a big mouthful, and it goes well beyond the issue of same-sex marriage.

For one thing, it means that North Carolina could not, now or ever, take any step or devise any policy to extend legal recognition and protection to same-sex couples. No domestic partnership laws. No civil unions. Nothing.

That’s mighty cold. If you disdain gay and lesbian persons, and don’t care whether they and their families remain permanently outside of the protection of our laws, such a policy might be your cup of tea. But it’s not our view, and we doubt that it’s the view of most North Carolinians.

With less than four weeks until the May 8 vote, the growing number of pro-equality voices offers great hope for Amendment One’s defeat, but polls suggest that a significant percentage of voters still do not understand the magnitude of its impact. As the coalition grows, hopefully public awareness will increase so that the harmful measure can be rightfully defeated.