Professor Suzanne Reynolds tells WRAL that Amendment One reaches too far
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Office of Communications and Public Relations
May 4, 2012
After months of rallies, marches and heated debate, North Carolina’s proposed marriage amendment is less than a week away from the ballot box.The amendment on the ballot reads, “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”
But there’s a second sentence to it that is not on the ballot that would also be added to the constitution if the amendment passes: “This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”
The amendment would ban same-sex marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships for unmarried couples, straight or gay. It could only be changed by another constitutional amendment.
Twenty-eight other states have approved constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, but the bans are not all the same. Some only address marriage, while others go further. No other state has enacted the exact language of North Carolina’s amendment.
“This is the most ambiguous of any in the country. If the supporters really wanted to just prohibit same-sex marriage, that’s the amendment they should have written. They reached too far,” said Suzanne Reynolds, associate dean at the Wake Forest University School of Law.
Read the full story here.