North Carolina Voters Approve Anti-Gay, Anti-Domestic Partnership Bill

 It was a sad night for LGBT advocates around the country and good North Carolinians, as their state handily voted in bigotry by a 20% margin.The Advocate reports:

Though a stinging loss, the measure's passage was not unexpected, as polling in recent days showed a sizeable lead for amendment supporters. According to incomplete returns, voters supported Amendment One by more than 20 points, with 61% in favor and 39% opposed.

North Carolina becomes the 30th state to approve a constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage for same-sex couples. The state of 9.7 million residents already had a law barring gay marriage, but it was the only remaining Southern state that had not gone a step further in passing a constitutional amendment.

Many LGBT advocates in the state placed a heavy blame on local media for not reporting on the far-reaching implications of the bill, which would threaten civil unions as well as gay marriage and domestic partnerships of all varieties.

Opponents based their campaign around the “unintended consequences” for the children of parents in domestic partnerships, and the protections for domestic violence survivors who are not in marriage relationships with their abusers.

That message was poorly communicated by North Carolina press, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which slammed local media in a Tuesday evening statement.

"North Carolina's media failed to educate its audience about the potential far-reaching consequences of this amendment, and as a result, polls show as many as 60% of voters didn't know the extent of what they were voting on," GLAAD president Herndon Graddick said. "While today’s vote is devastating to those families who will lose vital protections, we are encouraged by a steady rise in support for equality across the country.”

Indeed, as many noted on Twitter last night, gay marriage has yet to win at the ballot box, but it's becoming more and more popular and accepted both anecdotally and in polls--and crucially, its acceptance trends younger.

So the overall projection is towards equality. Still, there's no getting around this disheartening news and its real-life consequences.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at May 9, 2012, 3:02am

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