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Gay marriage 3It’s been less than two years since North Carolina officially enshrined discrimination in its constitution by passing the execrable Amendment One. Now, less than 24 months later, just as Speaker Thom Tillis famously/infamously predicted, the law seems fast on its way to obsolescence and, ultimately, the dustbin of history.

Yesterday, lawyers with the ACLU of North Carolina asked a federal court to block enforcement of the law on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking recognition of their marriages – a result that developments in other states makes increasingly plausible.

Now, today, new polling shows that a sizable majority of North Carolinians opposes the substance of the discrimination amendment. According to one of the nation’s most accurate polling shops, Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling, not only do 40% of voters (62% of young voters) favor total marriage equality, but:

“There is increasingly little division among voters in the state about whether gay couples should at least have some sort of legal rights in the form of civil unions. 62% support either marriage or civil unions for same sex couples to only 34% who think they should have no legal recognition at all. 68% of both Democrats and independents support at least civil unions, and even Republicans narrowly do by a 50/48 spread.”

The discrimination amendment, of course, bars even civil unions for same-sex couples. All in all, it’s hard to see how the amendment survives the decade — and maybe even the year. Stay tuned.

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

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

“You know, everybody says it’s just a word, but there’s more to it. There’s a feeling of belonging,” said Jeff Enochs of Charlotte, N.C. “I wanted my state to recognize that we are going to spend the rest of our lives together.”

Watch Jeff and his partner Brian Helms travel to Washington, D.C., the closest place they can legally marry.

The wedding is set to take place just weeks in advance of North Carolina’s primary, in which voters will decide whether to amend the constitution to read: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

Production: Mimi Schiffman
Music: Phil Cook & His Feat
Additional Camera: Ben Berry

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 on May 8, 2012, 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.

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.

As supporters of the anti-gay marriage amendment roll out a full page ad in North Carolina newspapers this weekend featuring the Rev. Billy Graham, the NC Council of Churches is making its opposition to Amendment One equally clear.

The Council, which represents 18 denominations and over 6,200 congregations with about 1.5 million congregants, is urging its members to vote against the ballot measure.

George Reed, executive director of the NC Council of Churches, says the amendment is about discrimination not marriage:

“It writes discrimination into our bedrock document, which is basically designed to give rights, not take rights away,” explains Reed. “It has unintended consequences beyond the issue of same gender marriage, which will hurt other families and children, and other relationships.”

Earlier this week, Reed wrote to the Council’s friends and followers, urging them to vote May 8th:

“As last week’s incident involving Speaker Tillis’ chief of staff or the ongoing trial of John Edwards make painfully clear, the challenge to straight marriages is not gay marriage, but the hurtful things straight couples do to each other.”

Reed joins us this weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss Amendment One, and why even people who oppose gay marriage should reject the discriminatory effects of the constitutional amendment.

For a preview of Reed’s radio interview, click below. To view their toolkit for people of faith opposed to Amendment One, click here:

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