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The anti-domestic partnership amendment

In case you missed it, be sure to read Professor Maxine Eichner’s opinion piece that ran today in Raleigh’s News & Observer

“Not only would the amendment’s language, if passed, make same-sex marriage unconstitutional, it would also certainly ban civil unions if the state sought to offer them in the future. The language would also invalidate the domestic partner benefits now offered by several local governments, including the municipalities of Chapel Hill, Durham and Greensboro, and Mecklenburg and Orange counties.

And courts could interpret the language of the amendment to ban many more of the limited range of rights available to unmarried couples. The problem is that we don’t know how many more. The amendment would introduce the phrase ‘domestic legal union’ into the constitution although its meaning is unclear. Further, this term has never been used in any law in North Carolina, never been interpreted by its courts and never been interpreted by courts in any other state in the country. Because of this, we simply don’t know how much further beyond civil unions and domestic partnerships courts will say the amendment reaches.”

Now we know why the supporters didn’t allow any public testimony on the matter at the General Assembly; they were afraid people would figure out just how extreme the proposal is.

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