By Diana Hsieh
David Deerson writes an excellent blog post on North Carolina's Despicable Amendment -- a.k.a. Amendment 1. The amendment -- up for a vote today (May 8th) -- would declare that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”
The amendment isn’t only a strike against gay marriage but also civil unions, regardless of the gender composition of the partners. Depending on the courts interpretation of the language of the amendment, it could:
- invalidate domestic violence protections for all unmarried partners;
- undercut existing child custody and visitation rights that are designed to protect the best interests of children;
- prevent the state from giving committed couples rights to allow them to order their relationships, including threatening their
- ability to determine the disposition of their deceased partner’s remains;
- make medical decisions if their partner is incapacitated
- allow second-parent adoptions in order to ensure that both partners have a legal tie to, and financial responsibilities for, the
- children they are raising.
- invalidate trusts, wills, and end-of-life directives by one partner in favor of the other.
Apparently, the people who will be voting for this amendment don't even understand its legal implications. But based on recent polling numbers, it seems likely to pass by a wide margin. I'm hoping for an unexpected but stunning defeat.