Originally published on Advocate.com May 04 2012 9:47 AM ET
With just days to go before North Carolina voters decide whether the state will join the rest of the South in constitutionally prohibiting marriage equality, big name opponents of Amendment One are stepping forward.
One of the latest is Chelsea Clinton, who penned an op-ed on Amendment One's dangerous consequences on health care, domestic violence prevention, and other issues.
"It is our duty to join the fight on behalf of both the gay and lesbian North Carolinians who were the original targets of the amendment and the tens of thousands of straight male and female North Carolinians who will be collateral damage if the amendment passes next Tuesday," Clinton wrote.
The latest numbers on Amendment One shows that 55% of survey respondents favor the ballot measure that would constitutionally ban marriage and other forms of relationship recognition for gay couples, according to a poll released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling. It found 41% of respondents oppose the measure, only a 1-point increase over the last survey conducted in April.
A crucial caveat remains, however: When those surveyed were informed about the amendment’s broad authority to outlaw civil unions, only 38% supported it, compared to 46% opposed.
Clinton's full email, via Coalition to Protect All NC Families:
I believe that everyone must stand up for what is right, whenever possible, wherever possible. I also believe that when the civil rights of any one American or group of Americans in one place are questioned, all Americans, everywhere, should care that the answer is the right one. Those are lessons I learned at a young age from my parents and they are guiding principles in my life.
That is why I am joining you in opposing Amendment One in North Carolina. Amendment One unfairly targets women, children and families, gay and straight, who fall outside of the narrow definition of family articulated by those who drafted the legislation.
It is our duty to join the fight on behalf of both the gay and lesbian North Carolinians who were the original targets of the amendment and the tens of thousands of straight male and female North Carolinians who will be collateral damage if the amendment passes next Tuesday.
Many North Carolinians will lose health care, domestic violence protections, end of life and visitation benefits, and face other serious consequences due to the political agenda of those who offered up the legislation. Those consequences will not discriminate - they will fall on the young, the old, the gay, the straight, men, women, professionals, line workers, union workers. Some of those are my friends - some are your friends, your neighbors, and perhaps even members of your own family.
You may ask why I am joining with you to defeat an amendment that would not harm my family as Marc and I are married under a traditional definition. Well, the answer is simple. When a measure as unfair, poorly worded, and harmful as Amendment One is offered up on a ballot, none of us can afford to be silent.
The Speaker of the North Carolina House claimed that this is a generational issue and that in twenty years the amendment will be repealed if it is passes. I believe that the Speaker is correct on one issue: the generation that will determine the future of North Carolina and the future of our country believes in equal rights without qualification and in protecting families regardless of the definition.
Defeating Amendment One requires all of us to educate voters on the harms to both gay and straight families. Polling continues to show that people do not understand the amendment and what it will do to North Carolina families if we do not defeat it on May 8.
Please sign up today for a get out the vote shift. The campaign tells me that they need several hundred more people knocking on doors to win next Tuesday. Will you sign up now? Everyone in North Carolina will be harmed if this amendment passes and your help is needed.
Do not be discouraged by the polling. Early voting shows that the electorate is younger and more progressive than the one that pollsters are surveying. It is up to all of us to make sure that trend continues - and that all voters understand the real consequences of Amendment One.
The campaign manager also tells me that the campaign is only a few thousand dollars away from hitting their goal for get out the vote resources. Will you contribute $25 today to make sure they are able to educate voters on the harms of Amendment One?
Good luck in the final days of the campaign - lots of people around the country, including me, are rooting for you.