Bill Clinton has made a statement against North Carolina’s Amendment 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships.
The statement was by recorded by Bill Clinton as a “robocall” for the campaign opposing Amendment 1 that, according to the Associated Press, will start running from Monday and continue up to the May 8 ballot this week. In the statement, the former President says:
“Hello, this is President Bill Clinton. I’m calling to urge you to vote against Amendment One on Tuesday May 8. If it passes, it won’t change North Carolina’s law on marriage. What it will change is North Carolina’s ability to keep good businesses, attract new jobs, and attract and keep talented entrepreneurs. If it passes, your ability to keep those businesses, get those jobs, and get those talented entrepreneurs will be weakened. And losing even one job to Amendment One is too big of a risk. Its passage will also take away health insurance from children and could even take away domestic violence protections from women. So the real effect of the law is not to keep the traditional definition of marriage, you’ve already done that. The real effect of the law will be to hurt families and drive away jobs. North Carolina can do better. Again, this is Bill Clinton asking you to please vote against Amendment One. Thanks.”
Bill Clinton’s daughter Chelsea Clinton also recently released a letter urging North Carolina citizens to reject Amendment 1.
As pointed out above, North Carolina already has a statutory ban on gay marriage. However, religious conservatives in the state have pushed to codify the ban saying that it is necessary to protect children and to prevent so-called activist judges from overturning the state law.
The amendment language has been heavily criticized by legal commentators because it will not just enshrine the state’s ban on marriage equality but also will ban all marriage-like partnerships from having legal weight.
This, obviously, will not just impact same-sex couples but also heterosexual couples who previously were in domestic partnerships or were cohabiting. Further to this, there is a concern that because state domestic violence prevention laws hinge on establishing a cognizable relationship between the woman and her abuser, the amendment may in fact serve to strip women of vital protections.
A recent Public Polling Policy survey of 982 likely North Carolina voters reveals that going into the last week of campaigning, 55 percent of respondents favor the amendment while 41 remain opposed. However, when voters were actually made aware that the ban would block all partnership recognition for gay couples and would harm straight families too, a majority opposed the measure.