ColorLines.com by Kenyon Farrow, May 11, 2012
President Obama’s public support of same-sex marriage helped upright the frowns of many LGBT marriage activists. The president’s endorsement came the day after North Carolina voters passed a constitutional amendment to ban recognition of any form of relationship that is not a legally married hetereosexual couple. While the passing of Amendment 1 may seem like a big blow to same sex-marriage activists, the grassroots organizing that came together to fight it may actually be the most important win for North Carolina, and a sign that activists in the state are building a better social justice infrastructure for the future.
What’s most important for the gay marriage advocates to remember is that Amendment 1 was never just about same sex marriage—that was already illegal in North Carolina. The bill was written and heavily promoted by Alliance Defense Fund, a right-wing legal advocacy group, and bans all legal protections for unmarried people. It ends people’s ability to get health insurance under domestic partnership plans. The bill even threatens the rights of unmarried parents to visit their children.
While this has been true in many of the now-30 constitutional amendments at the state level, the LGBT organizations have failed, in their desire to win “marriage equality,” to get ahead of the right-wing message to really paint it for what it is: a religious conservative policy agenda to remove anything resembling state support for “inappropriate” gender, romantic or sexual relationships. That includes, but is not limited to, same-sex marriage.