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NC Anti-Marriage Amendment Language Leaves Off Key Provision

Jim Burroway

September 22nd, 2011

North Carolina’s equality advocates have noticed that the anti-marriage amendment proposal, known as Amendment 1 on the May 2012 primary ballot, lost a key sentence when the legislature rushed to place it on the ballot:

The bill’s second sentence, which clarifies that the ban doesn’t prohibit businesses from offering benefits to domestic partners, isn’t included on the ballot.

State Rep. Rick Glazier, a leading House Democrat, said he didn’t notice the difference, and neither did his colleagues, until days after the legislature approved the marriage referendum.

“That sentence was crucial in some legislators’ minds about why they were willing to vote for it (and) pretty crucial to the business community,” said Glazier, who represents Fayetteville. “To say you can have half of this constitutional amendment with half of it gone … makes no sense whatsoever.”

Currently, the language reads that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” With the key phrase reading “in this state” rather than, for example, “by this state,” legal experts fear that the ambiguity of the language without the second clarifying sentence could be interpreted by the courts as a ban on domestic partnerships by private companies operating in North Carolina.

Comments

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Gus
September 22nd, 2011 | LINK

Why do I think this is not a mistake?

occono
September 22nd, 2011 | LINK

Gus: It isn’t, but it may got “lost in the rush” to those who didn’t support the language, it’s not that it fell out or anything. But yeah, it was a deliberate attempt to conceal the removal of the language.

Timothy Kincaid
September 22nd, 2011 | LINK

I smell an opportunity. This is “the government telling business what it can and cannot do”.

I’m dreaming of an ad which uses language like “busybody bureaucrats” and “petty dictators”. Sadly, I suspect its a daydream.

Other Fred in the UK
September 22nd, 2011 | LINK

State Rep. Rick Glazier admits he failed to read a State Constitutional Ammendment properly. I am the only one to be utterly amazed by his casualness with the State Constitution?

CPT_Doom
September 22nd, 2011 | LINK

So, in other words, NC wants to be like VA – the most anti-gay state (ok VA is a commonwealth) in the nation. AFAIK, VA is the only current jurisdiction that specifically bars private employers from providing DP benefits.

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