Amendment One – Where’s the Campaign?


I don’t know about y’all, but I’m surprised we haven’t seen a more robust campaign against Amendment One. I’ve yet to be contacted by any organized effort to defeat the amendment, and here we are only a few weeks from the vote. Are you seeing/hearing/knowing something that I’m not?

What’s the word?


  1. Paul Choi says:

    I’ve been phone banking at their WNC HQ at 29 N. Market St., 6th FL next to WNCA.

  2. Jason Bugg says:

    I’ll donate money to the campaign if you promise to never use the “word” “y’all” again.

  3. Gordon Smith says:

    Whose HQ? I haven’t heard anything about it.

  4. Thunder Pig says:

    I haven’t seen anything in Macon or Jackson Counties from the anti-Marriage Amendment people, either.

    I guess your guys aren’t organized to target bloggers or have no sneeze campaign (or, more likely, haven’t activated it yet). I’ve been getting emails from pro-Marriage Amendment Groups (NC Values, FRC Action and NC Family Policy Council) since before Christmas. A local activist group, the Counter Progressive Unit, will be walking the denser voting precincts and calling and emailing where they can’t walk. They’re already handing out fliers for cars in addition to the door hanging project. Full Disclosure: I’m a member of CPU and sit on their Macon and WNC steering committees.

  5. trifecta says:

    We were called Monday night by the no on Amendment One campaign.

  6. Tom Sullivan says:

    A few weeks ago, Pam Spaulding mentioned a rally in Greensboro this Sunday and, if it’s still on, I haven’t been able to find any details about where and when.

  7. TJ says:

    Two of the four groups I participate in Occupy have Amendment One on their agenda for created a targeted action, or, making a proposed statement. I don’t know if others have something cooking, but, I will ask.

    I know many people have stated they want to speak up. The YWCA has the anti-racial campaign, which we are writing a solidarity statement. I will see if they are including comments about Amendment One. If not, they should.

  8. TJ says:

    MTA is having a retreat, and, I will be bringing this up in our planning there, also.

    It would be awesome if a speaker could come to an Occupy event or meeting to brainstorm a coordinated action.

  9. RHS says:

    I was polled last week and one of the questions was on this amendment. I think I may have caused the pollsters computer to short circuit when I told them that I will be voting “no,” AND that I attend church services more than once a week (both of which are true.)

  10. Diogenes says:

    Some have more pressing problems.

    “Proving you’re gay to the Turkish army”

  11. Gordon Smith says:

    It’s my understanding that, by this time in all the other states that fought this battle, there was a more developed campaign. Perhaps something amazing is going to come together over these last weeks, but I don’t see anything that gives me much hope that Amendment One will be defeated. Aside from Elon, polling (Survey USA) indicates a negative outcome.

    I would love it if someone could offer me some rational hope (math, not magic) that the NC campaign can win this thing. Here’s a list of all the other states that have passed anti-LGBT amendments. What makes NC’s effort different/better?

    Sorry to be all negative nancy, but I don’t want folks to have their hopes raised unrealistically. May 9th is going to be a very sad day if every equality-loving person in the state wakes to find that we live in a place that has codified discrimination into our foundational document. It will, however, be a reality, and the fight for equality will have to be waged in that environment.

  12. Nancy,

    Here’s some good news for you. From the Charlotte Observer:

    Gay marriage amendment will come, then go

    N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis told a small crowd of N.C. State students last night that Amendment One, which constitutionally bans same sex marriage in North Carolina, would likely pass in May and be repealed within a generation.

    The Technician, N.C. State’s student newspaper, reported that Tillis talked about energy, his experiences as a politician, and Amendment One in a question-and-answer session. On the latter, he said: “It’s a generational issue. The data shows right now that you are a generation away from that issue.”

    That means although Tillis expects the amendment to pass – he cited research saying 54 percent will vote to approve – he expects it’s only temporary. “If it passes, I think it will be repealed within 20 years,” he said.

    Tillis is right. There’s already a shift in public sentiment, with national polls showing a majority of Americans in favor of allowing same sex marriages. It’s happening in some states, too.

    And the Speaker has made it clear on several occasions that this marriage thing was reluctantly brought forth by the leadership to placate the religious right-wing. Most sensible Republicans could really care less about it, I’ve found. It is what it is, and it ain’t all that, in my opinion.

    Read the full text of the story here.

  13. Thunder Pig says:

    Putting this amendment before a public vote is a delivery on a promise made by many Republicans during the 2010 campaign.

    I support the constitutional amendment and agree with Michael that it will probably be overturned based on demographic changes that are underway. Unless Republicans go back to having an average of 4 or 5 kids per couple, that is.

  14. Davyne Dial says:

    ” Unless Republicans go back to having an average of 4 or 5 kids per couple, that is.”

    That’s a very expensive solution. One kid costs $250,000 to raise and educate.

  15. shadmarsh says:

    That’s a very expensive solution. One kid costs $250,000 to raise and educate.

    That’s why they are bringing back slavery.

  16. TJ says:

    “Hi everyone (I sent the “reply all” spot, so I hope it works),

    I know we don’t want to get distracted by too much, but there is a
    basic human rights issue being voted on in two weeks (Amendment One).
    Can we go to the next City Council meeting together, and make a
    statement of solidarity? This affects our friends and neighbors, and
    corporations will come and go, but, hopefully, our friends are not
    going anywhere. Let’s not be like the Germans, and just watch as
    marriage is hijacked further by the right-wing conservatives, and
    support them BEFORE we need action to reverse a problem.

    Can I get some feedback on this? Please?

    I feel passionate about this because of my many friends I see not able
    to be treated equally, even in “family issues,” such as visiting as
    family when somone is sick, and children facing uncertainty when the
    non-biological partner is trying to retain custody when the other
    dies, etc.

    I am also contacting other groups. I would LOVE to have Occupy
    together to support and possibly do an action or protest.



    Response from MTA has been positive, so far, and I am contacting more people. I am surprised, as well, that this has not been a BIG discussion. I hope people step up and take this on more.

    If not, we can’t say “there’s nothing we can do,” it will mean “we chose to do nothing.”

    If that’s the case, those who don’t should not say they are supportive of those struggling with this issue, as well as others. It will mean 1)they don’t support gay rights, 2)they think someone else will do it, so they don’t need to, or 3)they implicity support those against gay rights, or, 4)they only want to support issues that touch their lives personally and in a noticeable way.

  17. wncguy says:

    I haven’t gotten a call either…I wonder what their universe is for calls? I would think making sure the base is turned out would be important. Also I know that they haven’t done any door to door work except via a campaign like Brownie Newman or Holly Jones,

  18. Mark Newman says:

    The Young/ College Democrats of North Carolina are doing a Day of Action against the Amendment during our convention this weekend in Charlotte (Day of Action is Sunday April 1st). You can find more details at

  19. RHS says:

    Councilman Smith,

    I doubt it answers all of your questions, but if you missed this AP articale you might want to give it a look:

  20. RHS says:

    “Unless Republicans go back to having an average of 4 or 5 kids per couple, that is.”

    I guess Republicans like their birth control too.

  21. Gordon Smith says:


    I just got a call from a gentleman in Raleigh who’s part of the NCDP, and he was able to fill me in about what’s going on. There’s more happening than what’s evident here in the west. They’ve actually got a sound strategy. Though the chances of victory remain relatively low, I’m more comfortable knowing that the strategy is being executed.

  22. Doug Gibson says:

    Not to be too snarky, but it seems that if there’s one thing conservatives never get, it’s that “in the long run, we’re all dead.” From civil rights to global warming, the remedy for today’s cowardice and greed always seems to lie in the future.

    So here’s an idea – why not give the amendment a sunset, like the slave trade sunset in the U.S. Constitution? Or how about an amendment that requires the legislature to sign off on any extension of benefits to nonmarried couples?

    Look, if you judge by the voter sentiments that the polling on this issue has uncovered (as distinct from voter intention), a majority of voters already oppose what this amendment does. But Tillis is content to set things up so that a majority of citizens must wait for a supermajority of elected officials to come around to their way of thinking. Or, in other words, Tillis is content to allow a superminority of voters to foil an extension of privileges that the majority supports — for 20 years, at least. Maybe longer. Who cares, really, so long as somebody else has to deal with the mess?

    Michael, TP, explain to me what those who support Amendment One on principle have done to deserve that kind of deference. What additional service have they rendered to the state? What history of harm to these conservative voters must we redress by preventing cities and counties from recognizing non traditional partnerships? I honestly don’t get it.

    (And I said I wouldn’t be too snarky. Whoops.)

  23. A. Chandler says:

    Gordon: just because they haven’t called you doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on. Just as Paul stated, there’s an office here in Asheville and I know people working there and volunteering there. I don’t know how you were left out of the loop on this but I’ll ask them to give you a briefing. You really gotta keep up more with what the actual gays are doing. Besides, the city of Asheville should vote against it without much organizing.
    Also, it can’t be good for morale for you to talk so negatively. Won’t it upset the troops? Or is that strategy? Regardless, seems you’d do your homework before you would go talkin’ trash about a group fighting to defeat the amendment, unless you have some ulterior motive.

  24. mat catastrophe says:

    I’m glad we’re treating civil rights like a marketing campaign. This country is fucked.

  25. Gordon Smith says:

    Oh, Angel. I don’t know what you’d do without me to beat up on!

    I’m glad to have been contacted and to have learned more. My post was intended to spark discussion, and that’s what happened. Perhaps I ought to have said something like, “this campaign is blowing me away!” But up to now it hasn’t, and I wouldn’t want to be disingenuous. I would love to see Amendment One go down in flames, and I’ll do my part to see that it does.

    I hadn’t been contacted to volunteer or even to publicize the NC Families info. I wasn’t aware of the phone banking effort. Perhaps this is my own fault. Perhaps I ought to just intuit this stuff, but I can’t keep track of everything all the time. Thanks for offering your input and allegations. Glad we’re on the same team.

  26. TJ says:

    “Not to be too snarky, but it seems that if there’s one thing conservatives never get, it’s that “in the long run, we’re all dead.” From civil rights to global warming, the remedy for today’s cowardice and greed always seems to lie in the future.”

    That’s not only true here.

    Part of William Wilburforce’s success was in the fact that when the vote came up later, many of the MP’s had died off.

    Okay, before Homeland Security comes and arrests me for being an Occupy agitator or “terrorist,” I was NOT suggesting we kill these guys off…
    Besides, I would not have the money to, even if that was my mindset.

  27. A. Chandler says:

    Well, Gordon, it is good to see that you still have a sense of humor. And you gave me a good laugh. I don’t see myself beating up on you. I don’t want you battered and bruised, it might ruin that pretty face. I do however want your ideology to fall by the wayside. You’re Party partisan ideology is a foe to true progress for the LGBT community, and I just address it time and time again. We’re not on the same team. Not by a long shot. You’ve done good things, you aren’t all bad, you just aren’t the champion of equality you make yourself out to be. You are a Democrat first and foremost, and a fighter of equality second, third, fourth, or somewhere down the line.

    By the way, while you were hot tubbing in Hot Springs this last weekend, folks were canvasing against Amendment One, including Browning and Holly, they are phone-banking every day and there is a fund raiser tonight. Folks are working hard.

    Also, you are absolutely illiciting discussion, much of which is not on this blog, and none of which I incited. Folks are upset at your comments. You have fences to mend, sir. Maybe phrasing your question/comment in a way that would illicit discussion without it sounding like no one is stepping up to the plate would have been less insulting.

  28. Tavis Cummings says:

    I have been volunteering with the Coalition all around Asheville and we’ve gotten numerous pledges signed and new volunteers identified. I tabled at Club Remix during Jufa’s “Rainbow Blackout Party” a few weeks ago, and one of the representatives spoke on stage about fighting against the amendment. We also had tables at the reading series organized by Jufa at Firestorm, as well as at both “No Vote No Voice” events at Scandals and Hairspray. Volunteers are continuing to table at musical performances, coffee shops, and cafes. I recently rode the “Bike O’ The Irish with AOB, and many people showed support for the cause. The Coalition is doing great work, and I’m happy to be a part of it!

  29. SWNC says:

    I’ve been phone banking with the organization Protect All NC Families. In Asheville, the organization seems to be relying very heavily on local volunteers, and I assume that most volunteers (like me) have work, family and/or school commitments and can only donate a few hours a week (if that) to the campaign.

    I have also heard through the grapevine that the larger national LGBT organizations have already written off NC as a lost cause. As a result, they’re not pumping a lot of money or effort into defeating the amendment. North Carolina groups are working their butts off to raise money and awareness, but when you are reliant on volunteer labor and don’t have gobs of cash at the ready, it’s a challenge.

    Having said, that if you Google “volunteer defeat Amendment One,” the first page that pops up is the Coalition to Protect All NC Families, followed by a number of news stories about citizen efforts to defeat Amendment One. Gordon, if you’re not aware of the efforts, I’d suggest that it’s because you’re not looking. If you’re concerned about defeating the amendment, you could try actually volunteering to do some voter education yourself.

  30. A. Chandler says:

    From The Advocate’s article “The Case For Victory In North Carolina”:

    “The pro-equality coalition opposing Amendment One is diverse, deep and unified”