Yesterday, North Carolinians voted to pass Amendment One, which will change the state’s constitution to recognize only marriage between one man and one woman; ban civil unions; and eliminate health care, prescription drug coverage and other benefits for public employees and children receiving domestic partner benefits.
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading Black LGBT civil rights organization, responds to North Carolina’s disappointing passage of Amendment One and how Black faith leaders rallied to condemn the amendment as well as educate voters.
Recent polls found that 60 percent of North Carolina voters were unaware of the full implications of the referendum. In fact, Public Policy Polling found that “if all voters were informed of [the amendment’s] consequences, the amendment would fail by a 38-46 margin…”
“It is a grave disappointment that North Carolinians voted to deny couples and children equal protections under the law,” says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and CEO. “Although this represents an unfortunate setback to progress and has devastating consequences to many families, we are encouraged by the number of Black clergy that spoke out against the amendment.”
Support for Amendment One had continued to slip, especially among African Americans. Public Policy Polling data revealed support for the amendment from Black voters dropped from 61/30 to 51/39. That was the lowest level of support PPP has found in monthly polling of the amendment since last October.
Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, spoke out in opposition of any proposal that would alter the federal or state constitution to exclude any groups from equal protection under the law. Rev. Barber joined several Black pastors that spoke out publicly about their stance against the amendment.
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. NBJC’s mission is to eradicate racism and homophobia.