The State of Relationship Recognition in North Carolina
On May 8th, the people of North Carolina will vote on whether to amend their constitution by adding the following phrase: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”
State law already prohibits gay and lesbian couples from marrying in the North Carolina, so the only effect of this change would be to call into question dozens of existing ways that gay and lesbian relationships are already legally recognized by cities, counties, employers, and courts across the state. Both our country and the state of North Carolina have been shifting rapidly on the issue of relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples. There are three ways in which North Carolina has made significant progress towards recognizing the relationships of gay couples in recent years, and the proposed amendment flies in the face of all three developments:
- A majority of North Carolinians now favor legal recognition for gay couples;
- Cities and counties across the state have begun to recognize gay couples; and,
- Many major companies based in North Carolina already offer domestic partnership benefits.
North Carolina voters, business leaders, and local officials agree: outlawing every level of recognition for gay and lesbian couples in their state goes too far.
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