Gay Marriage | News | North Carolina

Majority Of North Carolinians Support Anti-Gay Amendment One, But Many Don't Understand It

Amendment1ProtestAnchorage isn't the only place where LGBT rights are going to ballot in the near future. North Carolina votes May 8 on Amendment One, which constitutionally bans both same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Campaigners on the ground are putting their nose to the grindstone to stop the discriminatory measure, and bloggers including Towleroad have organized a moneybomb to help defeat it, but a new poll from Public Policy Polling shows the North Carolinian public is still leaning toward prohibition.

58% of voters in the state say that they'll vote yes on Amendment 1, while 38% are opposed to it. Republicans pretty universally support it, 76/20. Democrats are closely divided with 48% in support and 47% opposed. White Democrats are opposed to the proposed ban, but African Americans support it 61/30.

The findings also suggest the biggest hurdle to taking down Amendment One may be an ill-informed public.

Read more, AFTER THE JUMP...

From the study, via TPM:

Part of the problem is that voters are not well informed about what the amendment does. A 34% plurality say they are not sure on that question. Almost as many (31%) do know that it would ban both gay marriage and civil unions, but then not many fewer (28%) think it would only ban marriage. 7% actually think it would legalize gay marriage. 

Those who think it bans solely marriage rights are voting 67-30 for it, so 8% of North Carolinians, while misinformed, are voting against the measure simply because they think it bans same-sex marriage alone. Of course, those who think a “yes” vote actually legalizes these unions are voting by the same margin for it.

Meanwhile, Republican Richard Vinroot, the former mayor of Charlotte and a failed gubernatorial candidate who carries a lot of clout in the state, says he opposes the proposed amendment, though not because it's discriminatory. His opposition is based in the fact that North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis himself admits Amendment One could be repealed within a decade.

"My reaction [to Tillis], was, ‘My gosh, the legislature wants us to put something in the Constitution that the leader of our party – the speaker of the House – doesn’t think will stand the test of time for more than a decade,’" Vinroot told the Charlotte Observer. “I can’t imagine amending the Constitution for something he believes is that tenuous.”

Image via Equality North Carolina communications director Jen Jones.

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  1. of course they don't understand it. the conservative right has turned "LGBT Equality" into "gays are going to break up straight families and bring about the apocalypse and make your children into stylists and women who play golf"

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 29, 2012 2:25:41 PM

  2. Very sad, but true.

    Posted by: MikeH | Mar 29, 2012 2:38:28 PM

  3. I would feel better if the election was in November. A May election seems too close to really turn those numbers around. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try anyways to oppose that measure.

    Posted by: josh2727 | Mar 29, 2012 2:39:42 PM

  4. Stupid people can't understand a-lot, period!

    Posted by: Peter | Mar 29, 2012 2:42:09 PM

  5. The LGBT community and their allies need to step it up and educate the population. Here in Washington tons of people "support" marriage equality but we can barely staff the weekly phone banks. If we want something we have to fight for it. I wish this wasn't the case, but there are too many of the LGBT community and allies that want equality for free.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Mar 29, 2012 2:43:12 PM

  6. People are not as stupid as you think. I have met people who were against marriage equality until they got to know a gay person. Some of these people can be turned around once they realize that we are not the monsters the GOP makes us out to be.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Mar 29, 2012 2:45:00 PM

  7. Precisely the reason why direct democracy is a horrible idea. At least in a country as immature as the US and/or when it comes to such emotional issues

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 29, 2012 2:46:32 PM

  8. Exactly, Bryce.

    everyone knows an LGBT person, or twenty. if they "don't" then it means they don't know those people are LGBT yet.

    this is why we need to Come Out - all of us, to EVERYONE. Not just immediate family, not just the dude you're blowing. everyone.

    extended family. co-workers. acquaintances. we grown-adults have a responsibility to be Visible.

    check it out, share with family and friends. this is how we win.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 29, 2012 2:48:44 PM

  9. Gee, you think numbers like this just might be why Freedom to Marry isn't going anywhere near North Carolina? And you didn't post that even when fully informed about what Amendment 1 would do, opposition soars a whole 4% points!!

    We aren't winning this in red states, and we aren't winning this in states with high black populations. Period. In NC as in most other states, white Democrats and Independents oppose hate amendments and blacks strongly support them. You can call me every name in the book for daring to say that, except a liar because you know it's true. That's why FtoM is smartly ignoring NC and MD. The only person who could conceivably make a difference in those two states is still "evolving" on the issue.

    Posted by: Truth Squad | Mar 29, 2012 2:56:05 PM

  10. "truth" squad - it speaks volumes about your lack of character and integrity that you can only say those things from a place of cowardly anonymity.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 29, 2012 3:00:33 PM

  11. Oh Jesus, here we go. You can't refute a single word I said which has been backed up in EVERY SINGLE gay-marriage state battle, so when you're not spewing your Queer Studies nonsense babble you go for the lame personal attack. Let me guess - I should kill myself because my father hates me, right?

    If what I say bothers you so much, prove me wrong. PPP has a great website with loads of marriage polls for starters. Some of us actually care about winning, not feel-good BS that doesn't help anybody. BTW if I'm not mistaken you're not even an American, so what the hell makes you qualified to blather on about our politics?

    Posted by: Truth Squad | Mar 29, 2012 3:11:00 PM

  12. you refute your own words by only being able to say them from a cowardly place of anonymity.

    its not my fault you don't have the balls to show yourself, coward.

    what you say doens't bother me. it's the same thing every insecure closeted coward says.

    you don't care about winning. if you did, you'd put a face and name to your statements. you don't.

    i call your bluff, you run away, thus you prove me right.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 29, 2012 3:15:41 PM

  13. "truthsquard" is correct. "Bishops" preach hatred of gays every sunday at black churches and the audiences applaud. The same situation exists in MD. Until that changes, hatred and intolerance of gays will prevail in states with large black populations.

    Posted by: devon charles | Mar 29, 2012 3:16:38 PM

  14. prove me wrong. put a face to your comments. until you do you're just one more coward with no balls who spews anger online to deal with the misery of your own wimpy existence.

    prove me wrong.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 29, 2012 3:19:40 PM

  15. until you wimps can put a face to your comments, nothing will change.

    man up, cowards.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 29, 2012 3:24:10 PM

  16. @TRUTHSQUAD.... You might want to follow your own advice and report ALL the numbers. Yes, as you state, opposition to the amendment only goes up by 4% (from 38 to 42) when people are informed of what the amendment actually does. But, you didn't bother to report that support for the amendment goes DOWN by 17% (from 58 to 41) when that same education process takes place. So, after education, the pro equality side is actually winning 42% to 41%.

    Gee, I wonder why you left that part out? Maybe because it doesn't help your position to give all the data?

    Posted by: Tim NC | Mar 29, 2012 3:24:30 PM

  17. First of all Tim, thanks for at least attempting to address my post. Yes, you are right about your numbers, and assuming that 17% of the electorate doesn't vote, we're golden. Historically, the majority of undecided/decline to state voters break against marriage equality. Also, "after education" is a HUGE red flag for an election issue. That's like saying that Candidate X wins, but only after voters are informed that Candidate Y kill puppies for fun. Maybe NC will break the mold. If that happens I'll be first in line to gag down a glass of sweet tea in their honor.

    The brave souls in NC opposing the amendment have released some great optimistic, hopeful statements. Then when you're ready for an unpleasant reality check, compare those statements with what Equality Florida was saying in October 2008 (and they only needed 40% to win). They're virtually identical.

    Posted by: Truth Squad | Mar 29, 2012 3:40:57 PM

  18. these threads are always examples of "S**T Closeted White Guys Say"

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 29, 2012 3:41:18 PM

  19. address my post "truth squad" - it's a fact that guys like you can only make your statements from a cowardly place of anonymity.

    blaming blacks for homophobia won't change the reality that your own white family hasn't done a thing to promote LGBT Equality.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 29, 2012 3:49:09 PM

  20. Ignore all racist trolls, people.

    First of all, we're ahead in Maryland based on pretty much every poll from the state on marriage......we have a plurality of support in MD. Now, as for North Carolina, sadly, yes. It's going to be an uphill battle, same with Minnesota, same with any state that is significantly conservative. But we're DEFINITELY going to lose if we don't educate the masses and fight in these states. Looking to race-bait and throwing conservative states to the wolves isn't the answer. We as a community have to fight for our rights, and for each other, but instead we have people like "Truth Squad" seeking inter-community fights. It's pathetic.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 29, 2012 3:50:45 PM

  21. @TruthSquad... Yes, I did address your post. But, you chose NOT to address mine. The question I asked you was why you chose to ignore the portion of the data that didn't support your position.

    And re "after education". What is an election all about other than an education process?

    The numbers show we can win in NC if we have an opportunity to get our message to the voters. Doing that takes money to get on TV and radio. Money that could and should be coming from allies like Evan Wolfson would help in that regard. But, Wolfson is sending money to New Hampshire where the fight has already taken place and we already won.

    Posted by: Tim NC | Mar 29, 2012 3:52:23 PM

  22. 8 posts on the thread and NOT ONE word of substance or one even remotely relevant to the topic. Just a lot of yip yapping and ankle biting, LittleChihuahua.

    Given that your flaming can be seen from neighboring galaxies, I would think that if Being Out makes any difference, we would be winning these marriage battles pretty handily, n'est-ce pas?

    Posted by: Truth Squad | Mar 29, 2012 3:56:53 PM

  23. my flaming has never held me back :D i'm not the closeted coward who's afraid to show his face.

    prove me wrong. if you're not man enough to put a face to your comments then you only prove me right.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 29, 2012 4:04:19 PM

  24. Francis - actually a poll was just released by the Post showing we are now behind in Md, 40-43. Yes, we've been ahead in most previous polls, but not outside the MOE and as I stated there is a definite "Bradley Effect" when it comes to gay issues.

    Cross my heart, I did NOT post here to start trouble. I guess it just hurts too much to get your hopes and see them dashed again and again. I cannot tell you how badly I want to win of these to shut up the NOM creeps for good. I'm sick and tired of seeing those worthless sacks of spit gloating and innocent gay people crying their eyes out on election nights. That's where the cynicism regarding some states comes from. The polling shows that Maine is bar none our best chance, with WA in second.

    PLEASE don't take that to mean I'm rooting for failure in NC or anywhere.

    Posted by: Truth Squad | Mar 29, 2012 4:09:42 PM

  25. No one is blaming blacks for homophobia. Truth Squad is simply looking at the electoral politics of the situation.

    Let's take MD- Blacks make up a large percentage of the population, and with the last poll I saw were against marriage equality around 61%.

    From a purely electoral politics standpoint, we must get that number down to win. Are those black voters against marriage because of the color of their skin? No.

    Are they against marriage because the percentage of black voters who also say they attend church on a weekly basis is much higher than white voters? Yes.

    It is not racist to gather data, analyze that data, and then state simply, what the analysis of that data shows.

    In most polling blacks in this country are against marriage at a higher rate than whites. This correlates directly with their religious participation.

    Is it also possible that the reason, blacks seem to be against marriage in this country, is because the LGBT movement for the last 30 years spent much of its money on persuading white voters? Quite possibly.

    If I was part of FTM or other groups, I would be devising a plan to sink tons of money in black communities in MD, and make sure that 70% of campaign spokespeople are black and people of faith.

    Taking a long-form view of the movement, our leaders must be making long-term investments in education to the black and latino communities as that is where the population growth in this country is coming from.

    To state this is not racist, it is simply acknowledging the statistics that are readily available and shockingly similar from state to state.

    We can argue how we got here and I would imagine we would all be right in some way, but we don't really have the time to do that parsing in a campaign format.

    I just hope our dear leaders see where the polling is, and direct money and resources appropriately.

    Posted by: lotusmoon | Mar 29, 2012 4:11:45 PM

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