Amendment One stirs up debate

amendment 1 (Demo)

On Tuesday, May 8th, the citizens of North Carolina will have the opportunity to vote on Amendment One, a constitutional amendment that will define marriage as only between one man and one woman.
Along with defining marriage, the amendment will bar civil unions and domestic partnerships, regardless of the couple, in North Carolina.
While casting their ballots, voters will be able to vote for or against the new amendment which will read, “Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”
Proponents of the referendum agree that marriage should be viewed as it has been traditionally. “I fully agree with it,” said Peace first-year student Haley Hedgepeth. “I believe that marriage was created to be between only one man and one woman.” Many North Carolina residents agree with Hedgepeth that marriage should be viewed in the traditional sense and agree that this amendment would protect that.
Opponents of the amendment find fault with the ambiguous wording of the amendment, and most agree that all couples, whether in same- or opposite- gender unions, should not lose their rights as unmarried couples. “It’s somewhat vague and open to interpretation,” said David McLennan, a professor of Political Science at William Peace University. “It’s not as straightforward as saying that North Carolina will not allow the marriage of a man and a man or a woman and a woman, but it could be interpreted much more broadly than that.”
 If the amendment were to be interpreted as it is read, not only would same sex couples loose rights, opposite sex couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships would have their legal rights revoked in North Carolina.
 In 1996, North Carolina passed the Defense of Marriage Act which is a statute that prohibits the marriage of same sex couples. “What this amendment would do is protect it against a judge overturning it as we’ve seen in other states,” said McLennan.
Although same sex marriage is not legal, North Carolina is the only state in the southeast region that does not have these restrictions written into its constitution.

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