Professor Suzanne Reynolds discusses Amendement One differences, effects

The constitutional amendment states that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

Amendment One opponents and supporters agree that health insurance and other benefits offered by local governments – for gay and unmarried heterosexual couples – would be disallowed if the amendment passes. Such domestic partner benefits are offered by nine local governments across the state including Durham, Orange and Mecklenburg counties, Durham, Chapel Hill and Asheville. The change would affect about 70 households.

But the impact on corporate employees is more unclear and could affect far more people.

In more than 198,000 households in the state, partners are unmarried, according to a recent U.S. Census survey. More than 91 percent of those are heterosexual couples.

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