Western Carolina University’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality group, Unity!, kicked off the Race to the Ballot campaign at the central plaza on Friday, Jan. 27. Unity! members informed students of Amendment One’s possible implications and encouraged students to register to vote.
The Race to the Ballot campaign is a state-wide event, created by Equality North Carolina to draw attention to Amendment One. If passed, the amendment would not recognize civil unions and domestic partnerships as legal unions, not only for gay and lesbian couples, but also for heterosexual relationships. Right now the only recognized unions by any two people are marriages between one man and one woman.
Megan Bailey, Vice President of Unity! stated that Amendment One is affirming what is already on the books. “This is a redundant amendment because same-sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina.” Amendment One would block challenges on the same-sex marriage law, making it extremely difficult for opponents of the amendment to fight for same-sex marriage.
Jen Jones, the Communications Director of Equality North Carolina, is running across North Carolina, from Asheville to Wilmington, in an attempt to raise awareness about Amendment One.
On May 8, North Carolina voters will decide whether Amendment One will be passed. In the meantime, Bailey explains that Race to the Ballot is not just about same-sex marriage.
“It’s more than just same-sex marriage, but all you’ll ever hear about Amendment One is that it’s the ‘gay marriage amendment’. It’s quite misleading” Bailey adds, “It’s a bigoted, discriminatory amendment. Amendment One has to be stopped.”