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

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opposition is based in the fact that North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis himself admits Amendment One could be repealed within a decade.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


  1. says

    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”

  2. josh2727 says

    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.

  3. says

    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.

  4. says

    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.

  5. Steve says

    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

  6. says

    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.

  7. Truth Squad says

    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.

  8. Truth Squad says

    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?

  9. says

    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.

  10. devon charles says

    “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.

  11. says

    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.

  12. Tim NC says

    @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?

  13. Truth Squad says

    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.

  14. says

    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.

  15. Francis says

    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.

  16. Tim NC says

    @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.

  17. Truth Squad says

    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?

  18. says

    my flaming has never held me back 😀 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.

  19. Truth Squad says

    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.

  20. lotusmoon says

    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.

  21. says

    how about you provide the URL where you show us all the specific work you’re doing* to promote LGBT Equality, “truth squad”.

    *hint – anonymously blaming black people for anti-gay bigotry on a gay website doesn’t count. thanks.

  22. Tim NC says

    @TruthSquad…. You say

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

    You certainly aren’t supporting making any effort to WIN in NC. In fact, what you did here today was to mis-report the data in order to support your position that because NC has a large black population, there is no point in groups like Evan Wolfson’s from outside the state of NC donating money to help in the fight. A fight which the data shows we can win if we have the resources to fight fully armed.

    You say you cannot tell us how badly you want to win. But, you don’t want to call for providing any resources to make that win possible. You can’t win if you’re not ever in the game…….

  23. Tim NC says

    @Loutsmoon…. you say:

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

    Well, our leaders like Evan Wolfson have stated that they will not direct any resources to MD or NC.

    And, if you actually look at the web site for Protect ALL NC Families here:

    you will see that we in NC are operating exactly in the way you suggest. The coalition here is FILLED with faith organizations both black and white working together to fight the amendment. The list of businesses, faith organizations, students etc that have joined the coalition to fight this is large and diverse. But, the process requires money to complete the work. Having groups like Wolfson’s Freedom to Marry taking a position that we in NC or MD aren’t worth the effort doesn’t help. It only causes damage. Especially when Wolfson and his group still hasn’t provided any explanation for WHY they have made the decision they have made.

  24. jack says

    Barack Obama won the state of North Carolina is his election to the presidency. This should be seen as a cautionary tale for those who want to put the Marriage Equality plank in the democratic platform. If you push moderates and centrists away from the democrats because they are not yet ready to accept full marriage equality for LGBT folks, you could elect a republican. What have you won then?

  25. Dave says

    All bickering aside, the reality is that we will lose NC and NOM, FotF and the AFA will crow about their victory. However, if we focus purely on educating the populace, we set ourselves up for victory in the future to reverse it in that 10 year timeline. So instead of exhausting ourselves arguing whether blacks are or are not in support of marriage equality, can we just pour money into the state so that they can afford to educate people?!

  26. says

    “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

    So Devon White religious voters aren’t homophobic? these rabidly anti-gay initiatives (in the overwhelming majority) are being spawned in the white community.

    It is my impression that it is predominately white groups that have provided the foot soldiers to get these ant-gay referendums on the ballot. It’s predominately white churches that seem to be conducting an electoral holy war against LGBT people.

    It’s predominately white contributors in an overwhelming degree that bankroll this mess. And it’s white politicians who use us as punching bags. Hell NOM doesn’t have to go looking for white gay hating bigots but they do have to beat the bushes in order to find the black ones!

    I say that to say this….RACE isn’t our enemy RELIGION is

  27. Bob says

    ANDY — sorry, but the person with the New Zealand fruit in his name has taken over many of the threads with character assisination, tempting me and others to respond in kind. Perhaps you could send him an email asking him to write more temperately, and to allow that others’ opinions are valid?
    Or perhaps he is drunk, since he uses a screen name, but keeps telling others they hide behind anonymity. This is spoiling my enjoyment here somewhat. Thanks

  28. Bob says

    @LOTUSMOON — if you have had extensive discussion online with Black people opposed to marriage equality, as I have, you might conclude that throwing money into trying to change them is a waste.
    A better strategy is to implore more Black leaders to speak out, to write to the pastors, etc, as this population puts more credence in them than us.

  29. Tim NC says

    @BOB….. If you took the time to check the details at the web site for Protect All NC Families here:

    the coalition of groups that is fighting Amendment One in NC

    You would find that this coalition does have many black leaders, black faith leaders, white faith leaders, business leaders, political leaders, student groups etc, etc, etc working together. You will find that we are doing what you suggest we should be doing and you just aren’t aware of it. We aren’t just a bunch gay, white, cis-gender, upper class advocates fighting this fight.

  30. Nelson says

    In Ohio, the constitutional amendment that passed in 2008 was written in such a convoluted way that even my sister almost voted in favor of banning marriage equality. The OH one bans same-sex marriage “and any other arrangement that could mimic marriage” for same-sex couples, thereby banning civil unions as well.

  31. says

    Even many gay people don’t understand the amendment; I saw a comment online yesterday from a gay resident of NC talking about how the amendment would fail because the majority of North Carolinians don’t believe in marriage equality.

  32. mary says

    A certain poster here has commented many times that you can’t help your cause by remaining anonymous. He might be interested to know (and I don’t remember this era, but I’ve been told about it) that years ago many American magazines used to have a regular political/cultural column written by someone under a pseudonym (often a Greek sounding name like “Spartacus” or “Democritus.) Very often after they left the magazine or passed away it was revealed who they were. I’m not sure why they remained anonymous for years, but this anonymity wasn’t considered problematic at the time. Maybe readers knew that it was the ideas that counted, and not the identity of the writers. If an idea is especially controverisal I can see why a person wouldn’t want to risk having his livelyhood or reptuation ruined by open association with it.

    Just a thought.

  33. Armando says

    That the vote goes on during a contested Republican Primary also helps amendments like this pass. Here in California, the Democratic Legislature and Governor passed a law limiting ballot initiatives to the General Election that has more voters (and more Democrats) participating.

    Education is good, but who are you going to listen to, the pastor you see every week or some stranger who comes to your door or talks to you on the telephone? A person who you look to as a leader would have a greater influence than that stranger. The Pastor probably has more influence than a family member or friend who has a vested interest in the ballot initiative.

  34. says

    I really like your writing style, good info, thank you for putting up . “He wrapped himself in quotations- as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.” by Rudyard Kipling.

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