Professors Michael Curtis and Shannon Gilreath (JD ’02) speak out about potential legal challenges to Amendment One

So North Carolina has a marriage amendment in its constitution. What now?

For starters, the debate isn’t over. Gay-marriage proponents have vowed to use organizational ties forged in the amendment fight to keep their issues in the public eye. They started last week, sending gay couples to county offices to request marriage licenses the couples knew they couldn’t get and to get arrested for refusing to leave.

The protect-marriage crowd is ready to defend the amendment approved Tuesday if need be, supporters said. But it seems more likely they’ll be able to declare victory and move on to other issues. Local pastor Ron Baity, whose Return America group pushed the marriage amendment for years, said last week that there are “many issues on the front burner,” but “I’m not going to tip my hand.”

The handful of local governments that offer health benefits to employees’ domestic partners are sorting out what the amendment means for them. At least one Mecklenburg County commissioner is pushing to end his county’s existing benefit program, The Charlotte Observer reported last week. The city of Charlotte is considering adding same-sex benefits in what could lead to a test case for the new amendment, the newspaper reported.

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