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The latest high-profile figure to join the fight against Amendment One is George Takei, the actor best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the television and film series Star Trek.

Takei urged his 350,000 followers on Twitter Friday to work to defeat the proposed amendment to the Constitution that would ban legal recognition for all unmarried couples:

Takei, a vocal proponent of gay rights, expands on his thoughts on his website:

“Unmarried couples could be prohibited from hospital visitations and refused authority on emergency medical and financial decisions if one partner is incapacitated. Health insurance benefits, currently offered to domestic partners, could be stripped away, denying coverage to children and dependents.

America is about inclusion, not exclusion. It is about recognition of our diversity, and the strength that comes of it. Our democratic process, while designed to fulfill the will of the majority, also protects electoral minorities by guaranteeing certain inalienable rights, such as equal protection under the law. Those are the rules of our civil society, and Amendment One seeks to transgress them.

I urge North Carolinians to send a resounding message to the cynical and divisive forces at work behind Amendment One by voting NO on May 8th.”

Early voting on Amendment One (and the other primary races) ends Saturday at 1:00pm.

(Hat tip to Ricky Leung for the story.)

 

Yield: Love conquers everything; let us too, yield to love

This is the third piece in a series of videos by Mimi Schiffman on North Carolina’s Amendment One:

In a small school a little north and a little west of downtown Durham, N.C., a group of eleven-, twelve- and thirteen-year-olds has been busy organizing a field-trip.

Watch as a middle school’s gay-straight alliance, GLOW, for Gay Lesbian or Whatever, embarks on an adventure in civic engagement with real consequences for many of the club’s members.

“They don’t really see kids as having an idea of how they want their future to be like,” said Sarah, a GLOW member, “but when we actually voice our opinion it really does make a difference.”

Production: Mimi Schiffman
Music: Phil Cook & His Feat
Additional Camera: Patrick Mustain and Vanessa Patchett

Special thanks to:
Lisa Joyner
Carolina Friends School
Phil Cook

Mimi Schiffman is a photographer, videographer and multimedia producer pursuing a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This work is a part of a documentary project she is producing on marriage equality for her thesis. The work is being released in the lead-up to the 2012 North Carolina primaries where voters are asked to decide on a constitutional amendment which could render many established same-gender couples and their families legal strangers in the eyes of the law.

Mimi’s work is being posted on Huffington Post.

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Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s son was probably the headline grabber at this morning’s pro-Amendment One press event at the Legislative Building, but another speaker at the event probably even better symbolizes how incredibly extreme the main supporters of the amendment are.

Paul Wright is a former judge from Mount Olive who’s running a far right campaign against Pat McCrory in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Check out this guy’s website to see just how amazingly extreme he is (featured endorser: nationally known immigrant hater Tom Tancredo) and, as an aside, how long it’s been since he had a family photo snapped!

This is the best the the amendment supporters can do? This is the guy they trot out to explain why all of the lawyers and law professors raising questions about the “only domestic legal union” language are wrong??

Maybe the “yes” camp isn’t as strong as it appears.

 

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With May settling in, we take a look back at a few moments in the past month of politics and policy issues that really affected North Carolinians: From budget cuts that leave schools with fewer resources to President Obama visiting UNC, to the distracting “culture war” that the General Assembly has thrown at North Carolinians. We’ve compiled these and other moments in the brief video below:

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What are some progressive policy issues you can think of from the past month relating to the state of things in North Carolina? Share with us in the comments.
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In the final week of early voting before the May 8th primary,  state Rep. Larry D. Hall says Amendment One is clearly a mistake for communities trying to attract new jobs and a talented workforce:

“Anytime we trying to write discrimination into our constitution, we’re going the wrong way,” explained Hall. “Many companies, given the choice, don’t want to come into an environment where they have to worry or not about whether their employees will be discriminated again lawfully.”

The Durham County representative joined N.C.Policy Watch last week on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss the harms of the ballot initiative, as well as the impact of state budget cuts on North Carolina’s public schools and universities.

To hear a portion of the interview with Rep. Hall, click below. To hear the full segment, including out interviews with state Superintendent June Atkinson and UNC Health Care CEO Dr. Bill Roper, visit the Radio Interview section of the NC Policy Watch website:

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