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His opposition is based in the fact that North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis himself admits Amendment One could be repealed within a decade.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.