Two-thousand and twelve has been a year for progress on marriage equality. Both Washington State and Maryland, with strong leadership from their pro-gay governors, passed marriage equality bills. The fair-minded majority blocked an attempt to repeal equality in New Hampshire. The latest Pew research poll indicates a steady increase in the percentage of Americans who support marriage equality, with those in favor now outnumbering those opposed to allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry.
Yet, despite this progress, 2012 is also the year families in some states face ballot initiatives that seek to constitutionally enshrine discrimination. A proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota would restrict marriage to the union of one man and one woman even though state statute already prohibits marriage equality.
In North Carolina, where the marriage of same-sex couples is also illegal, Amendment One would go even further, constitutionally prohibiting ALL legal unions aside from opposite-sex marriage. This would include civil unions and domestic partnerships and could affect straight unmarried couples along with gay couples. Children's health insurance benefits, domestic violence safeguards, and end-of-life arrangements could also be invalidated by Amendment One.
As the May 8th vote approaches (early voting is already underway), more and more North Carolinians and pro-equality Americans are fighting back against Amendment One.
- Watch a brave lesbian "put a face on this amendment" by publicly coming out for the first time and confronting her state representative, a co-sponsor of Amendment One.
- See an ad sponsored by African American clergy to "stand against this unnecessary and unjust proposed amendment." They join the many other civic, business, faith, and civil rights leaders who have come together to oppose blatant discrimination. As more voices unite and voters are educated, support for Amendment One has begun to drop.
Vermont Freedom to Marry stands with all those who oppose writing discrimination into the constitution.