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Every 1 Against 1: A campaign against discriminatory marriage legislation

Posted by Tom Megginson | 4-05-2012 18:38 | Category: Human rights


When I visited North Carolina’s Every 1 Against 1 site, I was more than a little shocked:

Amendment One (SB514) is a proposed change to Article 14 of the North Carolina State Constitution that will appear before the voters on the May 8, 2012 primary ballot across North Carolina. Amendment One is not only an ideological assault on the civil rights of LGBT North Carolinians, it’s also a poorly written law that will have serious negative, unintended and harmful consequences on North Carolina’s children, families, seniors, women and businesses.

Stating that, “Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State,” Amendment One aims to turn all unmarried couples — whether same-sex or opposite-sex — into second-class citizens unworthy of basic dignity and fair treatment.

The campaign does a good job of finding common ground between the interests of same-sex couples and those of a variety of “mainstream” groups such as…


Amendment One could interfere with protections for all unmarried couples: to visit one another in the hospital; to make emergency medical and financial decisions if one partner is incapacitated; wills, trusts, medical powers of attorney; private employer healthcare benefits; and domestic partnership benefits offered by many municipalities.


Many older people who have previously lost spouses, but find love later in life never remarry, even though they are committed to their new partner. They do this to protect the benefits their previous spouse earned including health care, pensions, and Social Security, and Amendment One may put those benefits in jeopardy.

Unmarried Women:

According to the Attorney General, leading experts at Duke and UNC law schools, and the state’s Women’s Commission, domestic violence protections for unmarried women could be declared unconstitutional because Amendment One legally recognizes only married couples as a family. A dangerous step backward for our state, unmarried women’s lives and safety would be left vulnerable to their attackers and stalkers.

And even Business Owners:

As reported by The Charlotte Observer, 75 CEOs — including the heads of several Fortune 500 companies — sent an open letter to state legislators opposing the measure because it will have numerous direct, harmful effects on their businesses and the entire state’s economy.

The site also points out that this amendment isn’t even about same-sex marriage, since Same-sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina. Which is not exactly good news, but frames the argument apart from that issue so that even homophobic people in non-traditional families can recognize their self-interest in the issue.

As for the ads themselves, I love how they bring up the “bad old days” of racist segregation as a comparison for how this ill-conceived legislation would make many families, friends and neighbours into second-class citizens. The iconic black-and-white photos provide a stark message about the regressive nature of the proposal.

Will it work? I hope so. For the sake of all North Carolinians.


See two more ads after the break.




Every 1 Against 1
The Variable, Winston-salem, NC, USA
Additional credits:
Creative Director: Joe Parrish
Art Director: Tim Quillen, David Jones
Copywriter: Gary Bostwick, Matteson Fields
Illustrator: Tim Quillen
Programmer: Todd Stanich
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