Pam Spaulding's blog

Should my family spend $ in NC for my 50th birthday fete next year w/anti-gay Amendment One in place?

Note to North Carolina elected officials and its tourism industry - this question is for you as well. Hit me up with your best case explaining why my birthday should be celebrated here on Facebook or pam at firedoglake dot com and I'll be happy to share your perspective with readers.

It's a relevant question that I'd like to hear your thoughts on because many thoughtful people here in North Carolina, who pay taxes to a state government that put the anti-gay measure on the ballot that passed this May, are wondering how they should spend their discretionary dollars and what they should tell equality-minded friends and relatives to do.

Where do I begin? It's just the beginning for North Carolina after the passage of Amendment One

I'm sitting here thinking about all of the blood, sweat and tears poured into this battle to defeat Amendment One here in NC. It looks like is NC had the highest turnout for a primary here in a quarter century -- 37%. Only 18% were expected to vote.

But the forces of bigotry won this round. (WRAL; full election results can be found here):

The constitutional amendment defining marriage in North Carolina as between one man and one woman appears like it will pass. With 30 percent of precincts reporting, those in favor of the amendment lead those against 57 percent to 43 percent.

Honoring more boots on the ground: All of Us NC organizes against Amendment One

I think it's important to remember that there are many, many grassroots organizations and group efforts working hard here on the ground to defeat Amendment One, many on their own time and dime, because they feel strongly that we're all in this together as North Carolinians, each with a role to play in educating voters, bringing people together to discuss the amendment's harms and getting out the vote. One such group is All of Us NC, a grassroots offshoot of the social justice organization Southerners On New Ground (SONG).

Anti-gay pastor Patrick Wooden claims Amendment One doesn't ban civil unions

Plus, I had a lengthy discussion with the Raleigh pastor about his bible-based views - as well as his outlandish statements about gays. I also managed to get him on record agreeing that one should not be fired on the job for being LGBT.

During a Leadership Triangle forum on North Carolina's marriage discrimination amendment on Tuesday, pro-Amendment panelists cited the usual outlandish irrelevancies as justifications for adding discrimination -- biblical law, need for procreation, and fertility rates. Thankfully there were panelists who kept redirecting the conversation back to facts and civil law.

Honoring boots on the virtual ground: the Letters to the Editor brigade against Amendment One

While there is an official campaign to defeat Amendment One out there, we have to recognize that there are many, many people working at the grassroots level, residents of North Carolina putting in countless hours to educate voters on their own time and dime because they feel passionately that this discriminatory amendment is wrong for the state that they call home. They find a niche to effectively counter the anti-gay, anti-logical arguments out there.

In this case, I wanted to spotlight a local effort -- responding to op-eds and letters to the editor (LTEs) in our local and regional papers that have been, as you might expect, populated with anti-gay, fear-driven, often religion-based arguments in favor of Amendment One. LTEs are powerful tools, and Durham resident Steve Bocckino helped build a roster of residents eager and willing -- sometimes for the first time -- to write what have become extremely effective pro-equality, anti-Amendment One arguments.  A self described "60-year-old white guy, straight, and married for 21 years," Steve wanted to make a difference. Here's my Q&A with him.

BREAKING: Obama campaign releases statement opposing Amendment One (+ a back story)

Well, naysayers out there who said that the President would not say a peep about the discriminatory Amendment One in NC because it's an election year (even though he did so in 2008 for Prop 8), you'll have to eat crow. His campaign obviously "did the math" and decided it was the right thing to do to release a statement opposing it.

Durham City Council unanimously passes resolution opposing Amendment One (+ vid from Mayor Bell)

This occurred last week but we've got a new video of Mayor Bill Bell's statement about the Amendment. I'm so proud of my town.

On Thursday, March 8, in a 6-0 vote, the city of Durham’s councilmembers encouraged voters to cast their upcoming ballots against an amendment to the state constitution that would strip the local government of the ability to provide domestic partner benefits such as health care to its public employees and their children, among other harms.

More opponents of Amendment One should stand up and say what its bigotry is really about

The video of NC Libertarian Party Chair J.J. Summerell, who speaks out against Amendment One, is laudable for underscoring some reasons North Carolinians should vote against Amendment One, but it is unbearably grating to me on a personal level because of the other message it sends -- that it is all about the "unintended consequences" it poses -- its effect on domestic violence laws, how it hurts children in custody matters, etc. There is zero commentary about the primary reason for this ballot initiative on May 8 - it is specifically designed to demonize and hurt taxpaying, voting LGBT North Carolinians.

BREAKING: Wake County to debate resolution in support of bigoted Amendment One

UPDATE: The resolution to support a radical revision to the NC Constitution passed on a secret vote orchestrated by Paul Coble.

Wow. I know those of us in Durham and Orange (Chapel Hill/Carrboro) counties don't have to worry about garbage like this coming up for a debate, but Wake County, the seat of state government, is not a known as part of the progressive nexus of the Research Triangle area. I am saddened to see this, but people in Wake who oppose Amendment One, which would ban not only same-sex marriage, but eliminate domestic partnerships already in place in some cities and counties, and preclude any consideration of civil unions, need to make their voices heard today at 2PM. From Neighbors for Equality, the alarm has been sounded...


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