April 26, 2012
State Representative Jim Crawford is a conservative Democrat in North Carolina who was one of the supporters and sponsors of Amendment 1, working to get it onto the ballot for this year’s primary election on May 8. He was one of only ten House Democrats who supported putting the measure on the ballot. Now that support for the amendment is fading and people are coming to understand how broad and dangerous it would be to families and children, gay and straight alike, Crawford is withdrawing his support and pledging to vote no:
In the video, a lesbian woman takes Crawford to task over his support for the amendment.
“(T)hat hateful piece of discriminatory legislation that would be put in our constitution of this state was introduced by Jim Crawford and I’ll never forgive you for that, because you slapped me and every gay person in this state when you did that,” she said.
Crawford responded by acknowledging he had submitted amendment drafts but he did not favor the version that’s on the ballot.
“I will definitely vote against it because I think it goes to far,” Crawford said.
“I want to put a face on this amendment,” and she says, “I am what I am, and I’m a damn good citizen of this county.”
Pam Spaulding, who lives in North Carolina, comments:
It clearly didn’t “go too far” before that forum. What it goes to show is that even the people who wanted this on the ballot now, seeing the tide turning with conservatives and people of faith rallying against Amendment One, are running away from their decision to put civil rights of a minority on the ballot. And they are running for cover and in Crawford’s case, so desperate they are lying about their original commitment.
It does seem like supporters are jumping ship these days. The coalition against Amendment 1 is growing by the day. Prominent statewide Republicans, libertarians and religious folks are united in opposition alongside the NAACP, civil rights and civil liberties groups, and some business groups. The Governor and Attorney General of North Carolina have come out in opposition, as well as former Democratic and Republican mayors of cities in the state. It’s increasingly awkward for supporters to stand in defense of an amendment that reaches so far it would eliminate insurance for children with unmarried parents and bar victims of domestic violence from seeking legal recourse, to say the least.
And the pro-Amendment web and TV campaign ads aren’t helping matters. They’re filled with distortions and confusing rhetoric about religious freedoms and the Bible. None so far have addressed the issue of removal of civil unions and domestic partnerships, the effects on children’s health insurance, the effects on domestic violence law, the war on women, or any other claims brought on by the broad and poorly-written language of the amendment – the statement that the “only domestic legal union” would be marriage between a man and a woman, something unheard of and undefined in North Carolina law. The ads don’t answer charges and they are not going to persuade independent and undecided voters to come out in support of the amendment with all these questions remaining, simply based on an appeal to religion. As more supporters abandon the amendment we’ll see how the pro-Amendment 1 campaign responds. It’s sure to be interesting.
1. Contribute to the campaign on ActBlue so they have the resources they need to get our message out.
2. Sign up for a Courageous Conversation about Amendment One with someone you know in NC.
4. Download social media tools and yard signs to show your opposition to Amendment 1.
5. Volunteer to Call for Equality – a GOTV phone banking effort against Amendment 1.