RealTalk – Amendment One Backyard Chat

We Are Campaign Discussion Facilitators

Amendment One (as it will appear on the North Carolina’s ballot): “Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”

North Carolina’s Amendment One will affect aspects other than marriage, said campaign leaders on Sunday, April 29, 2012, during The Vine Event Planning’s  “RealTalk – Amendment One Backyard Chat.”

“Amendment One will have a broader affect that encompasses domestic law,” said Robert Eldredge, who started the “We Are” campaign in North Carolina.

Eldredge and Lindsay Welch—Welch helped Eldredge start the campaign– spoke to a group of more than 20 people in the backyard of Tonya Cross, the owner of The Vine Event Planning.

Not only will Amendment One narrow the definition of marriage to a union between a man and woman, but it will also affect domestic violence laws and protections, domestic partner benefits, and child custody cases.

After Eldredge and Welch gave an overview of Amendment One and its effects, attendants at the event were divided into three groups lead by four facilitators: Kristen Thompson, Esq., Eldredge, Welch, and Evelyn Medina.

Thompson, talked to her group about the legal aspects of Amendment One. Thompson claimed that the broad language used in the amendment has been the cause of some controversy surrounding the amendment. She said the definition of a “domestic legal union” is not clearly defined and is thus left up to interpretation of those implementing the law.

The definition of a “domestic legal union” was the main topic discussed by the group Eldredge and Welch led. They said the assumed definition of marriage between a man and a woman laid out in Amendment One is an ideology of family that is being forced upon the residents of North Carolina.

Medina’s group shared their personal views on the amendment. Larry Clifton, an attendant at the event, said he was going to vote for the amendment because of religious reasons until he realized that it did not just affect the gay community.

“I have a problem with the fact that this amendment will affect children and their access to their parent’s health insurance,” Clifton said.

Henry Giles, who was also part of Medina’s group, said same-sex marriage is just one aspect of Amendment One.

“They [legislators] are using people’s fears and prejudices against gay people to encourage people to vote for the amendment,” Giles said.

Educate yourself on Amendment One before you cast your vote. The last day to vote on the amendment is May 8th, 2012.  To find out more about Amendment One and the “We Are” campaign, visit

Desere’ Cross, UNC-CH Journalism Major

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