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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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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

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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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