Be careful what you vote for May 8

Published 7:07 pm Friday, April 27, 2012

If you’ve already been to the polls, you’ve seen it: Amendment One. It’s the amendment that, if passed, will constitutionally seal the deal on how marriage is defined in the eyes of North Carolina law.

On the surface, the law protects the fundamental Christian values of the state of North Carolina, but look a little a harder and many believe a closer look reveals a far-reaching law with potential to detrimentally affect all North Carolinians.

Some of those arguments were delivered to the General Assembly this week.

Speaking for the North Carolina Psychiatric Association, Jean Aycock said because of the amendment’s far-reaching language, potentially affecting health-care and legal safeguards for all unmarried, cohabiting households, 911,186 North Carolina children (according to 2010 census data) could be threatened by Amendment One.

Tanya Roberts, MSW and the president of the board of the North Carolina chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said in a statement: “This amendment not only affects our profession but the clients we serve. Domestic violence protections against unmarried women will be affected as the Amendment redefines marriage. Children in unmarried homes will be affected from not having insurance coverage to visitation rights.”

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper made this statement: “I believe (Amendment One) is unclear, unwise and unnecessary. Amending our constitution demands careful deliberation along with precise language — both are missing here.

Amendment One’s lack of clarity will also result in a significant amount of litigation on many issues which will be decided by courts for years to come. This should be avoided.”

But the most surprising detractor of Amendment One? John Hood.

Hood is head of a well-known conservative think tank in Raleigh, the John Locke Foundation, and his column can often be seen in the Washington Daily News. Hood has been quoted as saying, “The amendment is too extreme. … They say its wording harms the rights of too many people,” and he said that lawmakers have wasted their time bringing the amendment before voters because a state law already bans same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is illegal in North Carolina.

Carefully consider your vote on May 8.