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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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If anyone is looking to sublet some office space in the legislative building, you may want to contact Speaker Tillis – he has a few empty desks that he might be willing to part with. Not that I’m implying anything else is for sale in his office.

Yes, Tillis is probably a bit lonely in his big, fancy office this week after the resignation of his Chief of Staff and Policy Adviser, both for having affairs with different lobbyists who represent a range of different interests under consideration at the General Assembly.

Sound shady to you? Speaking as a registered lobbyist, it sure sounds shady to me. Read More

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

This is the second in a series of videos by Mimi Schiffman:

Meet North Carolina family: Kim, Kathy, Ben, Jamie and Justin, and listen as they put into words what’s at stake behind North Carolina’s proposed Amendment One.

“I mean, you can term it whatever you want,” said Kathy Sullivan. “But you really cannot look at these relationships and determine they are anything but family.”

The proposed constitutional amendment, which reads: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state,” could potentially invalidate adoptions by same-gender parents across the state.

Production: Mimi Schiffman
Music: “Viandanze,” Fabrizio Paterlini

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 will be 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.

“Going Forward” was filmed in Fuquay-Varina, NC.

Contributed by Mimi Schiffman:

Twelve-year-old Isak Atkins-Pearcy loves Legos, doughnuts and fighting for what he believes in.

“I think in a world where everything is right, you could love anyone you wanted to.”

He’s been fighting alongside his parents and with his junior high GSA to defeat North Carolina’s proposed constitutional amendment which will be decided in the May 8th primary.

Amendment One would place in the constitution the following language: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

Meet Isak, and hear a fresh perspective on relationships from a young man, full of conviction and love for his family.

Production: Mimi Schiffman
Music: “April,” Marcel Pequel
Artistic Direction: Isak Atkins-Pearcy

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 will be 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.

“Love = Love” was filmed in Durham, NC.