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President Obama opposes anti-gay Amendment 1 in North Carolina

Marriage equality

By Scottie Thomaston

This is news:

“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” said Cameron French, his North Carolina campaign spokesman.

“That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”

Equality activists in North Carolina have been pressing the President and the First Lady to publicly oppose the amendment, and the number of people in opposition is growing. Recently, Wooledge noted that the fight in NC is winnable. This move by the president is very welcome and could help steer the conversation in a more positive direction for the equality side.

Hopefully this is also a sign of more changes to come. North Carolina is a battleground state, and the Democratic National Convention will be held there this year.

Update 1 (Scottie Thomaston)
: Pam Spaulding has a more detailed post up

Maybe someone up the campaign food chain finally figured out there’s no harm in pointing out that discrimination placed in a state constitution is simply wrong. It’s not like we’re asking for an endorsement of marriage equality. He’s got that problem as well — related to the platform — with many of his fellow Dems calling for marriage equality language to be added to it, but that’s not the same issue for North Carolina.

If people are that uptight about that frank and earnest statement of opposition to Amendment One stated above, the President shouldn’t have expected to win over those votes anyway.

    Thank you Mr. President.

Update 2 (Scottie Thomaston): Statement from Protect All NC Families via The Advocate:

Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for Protect All NC Families, applauded the president’s stance.

“The President’s support is proof that Amendment One, which could take health care away from children, put domestic violence laws in jeopardy, in addition to hurting all unmarried couples in North Carolina, has far-reaching, negative consequences,” he said in a statement Friday.

Update 3 (Scottie Thomaston): Protect All NC Families now has a petition up thanking President Obama for taking a strong stand against the amendment. Please sign and help get the word out.

And let’s help them defeat this amendment by sending a few bucks their way!

Update 4 (Scottie Thomaston): Geidner raises interesting points throughout his piece on this announcement, especially:

The move is notable because the Obama White House has avoided referencing specific states by name in statements issued by the White House about pending marriage and domestic partnership initiatives and referenda.

In September 2011, for example, when asked to clarify a White House statement issued about the North Carolina amendment — a statement that discussed the president’s general opposition but contained no North Carolina specifics — White House press secretary Jay Carney told Metro Weekly, “I think our position on similar amendments has been clear. I don’t have a specific one on this, but I think you can — our position is clear on this, the President’s position is clear on this.”

13 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. David Henderson  |  March 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

    "it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples" — that's not what other opponents are saying: It doesn't single out committed gay and lesbian couples; it also affects unmarried straight couples.

  • 2. Sagesse  |  March 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

    To read later. I will be interested to see why Wooledge thinks NC is winnable.

  • 3. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 16, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Yeah, from what I've read the amendment could have very far reaching consequences, beyond gay people.

    But I really personally get tired of having to resort to that position, "it hurts straight people too."

  • 4. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 16, 2012 at 10:38 am

    It's a great post. It got a lot of positive responses from people on the ground in NC as well.

  • 5. karen in kalifornia  |  March 16, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Hope this is appearing in other NC newspapers.
    BTW Obama basically said the same thing about Prop 8. That didn't keep the Antis from quoting Obama's now famous MIBAMAAW God is in the mix statement.
    Good luck NC. Donation has been sent.

  • 6. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 16, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I'm seeing NC newspaper articles quoted via Twitter, so hopefully it's getting out there. Equality orgs in NC are tweeting it now as well.

    I'll keep updating this post as more develops, of course!

  • 7. Angel  |  March 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

    My snide comment of the day…

    Gay marriage redefines marriage much the same way that "treating different things differently is not bigotry" redefines bigotry and "singling out a group of people based on a particular unfavorable characteristic such as inability to reproduce is not prejudice" redefines prejudice.

    On that note, I want to not feel rich just like Ann Romney.

  • 8. David X  |  March 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Not if I have to wake up in the morning looking at Mitt's sorry @ss :(

  • 9. Seth from Maryland  |  March 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    http://youtu.be/1yZ-0ml5djw

    Russell & Sally Robinson Speak Out Against Amendment One video

  • 10. grod  |  March 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Scottie, good observation. Yesterday I noted that the two catholic bishops in NC put out two videos in support of the amendment. I wondered what percent of wedding a year these two spokespersons' church conducted relative to all the weddings being authorized in the State. I found it was 2% when it was Catholics marrying Catholics and 3% when you take interfaith marriages that these two dioceses perform. It is known that the Catholics are not of one mind. I find it extraordinary that an religious organization with such a small piece of the wedding pie should be accorded such status as spokespersons.

  • 11. Sagesse  |  March 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Ok. Any plan that can get out the pro-equality vote, and in particular the youth vote is off to a good start.

  • 12. Bob  |  March 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    thank you Obama, for speaking out on this one,,,,,,,,

  • 13. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  October 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    [...] Obama has weighed in before against efforts to ban marriage equality, most recently in North Carolina against Amendment 1. And earlier this year, of course, he announced his personal support for the right of same-sex [...]

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