The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)


March 12, 2012

Group gathers to get the word out about same-sex marriage law

Monday, March 12, 2012 — Thursday evening, students and other concerned citizens came together to learn more about an upcoming amendment which will affect what is considered to be a legal union in the state of North Carolina.

On May 8, voters will have a chance to vote on the North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage, Amendment 1.

Amendment One would define marriage as “between one man and one woman,” and would make marriage the only domestic legal union to be valid or recognized by the state.

Same-sex marriages are already banned in North Carolina, however, the amendment would add the ban to the state constitution by adding a new section.

In order to inform voters on the issue, Gray Stone Day School’s Young Progressives teamed up with the Stanly County Teen Democrats and Pfeiffer University’s Spectrum Organization to host a “Vote No House Party” in the Community Room of the Stokes Student Center at Pfeiffer University.

“We’re trying to get the word out about Amendment One,” Dylan Frick, president of Gray Stone’s Young Progressives said.

Frick, who has been a member of the StanlyCounty Teen Democrats since 2008, explained how the idea for the house party came about.

According to Frick, a previous presentation on Amendment One given at one of the meetings was so popular that the decision was made to host an event around the issue. Calls were made to various speakers who agreed to attend the house party to speak out on what they considered to be a violation of civil rights.

Speaking at Thursday’s event were Jeff Enochs from Neighbors for Equality and Rep. Rick Glazier who is seeking re-election to the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Enochs spoke out on the proposed ban, stating that rather than simply redefining marriage, supporters of the amendment are “trying to redefine what a family is.”

In addition, he spoke of the possible consequences not just for homosexual unions, but possible legal implications for domestic partnerships and civil unions as well. The ban, Enochs said, goes beyond gay marriage.

“This amendment has no sexual orientation,” Enochs said.

Enochs urged those in attendance to “not let hate enter into our constitution.”

Rick Glazier spoke next, stating that approximately 500,000 North Carolinians would be affected by the amendment and called it one of the most extreme and intrusive laws in the country.

Glazier said the law threatens to alter the family law landscape and eliminates minority rights rather than expanding upon them.

“Civil rights are not a reward we give in society for conforming behavior,” Glazier said.

Glazier said there was a time in this country when it was “tradition” to prohibit rights from certain groups, including blacks and women, and everyone to insist change.

“What is seen as one as tradition comes to be seen in another as oppression,” Glazier said.

Vanessa Sanchez and Elsinai Ruiz of the Stanly County Teen Democrats were in attendance to inform voters of the amendment and to urge them to fill out pledge cards.

“We’re out here to help people make informed decisions,” Sanchez said.

Ruiz was concerned about the long-lasting effect of the ban.

“This will affect our generation’s future,” Ruiz said.

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