by Bob Geary
The Coalition to Protect N.C. Families is out with a statement about the new Elon University Poll, which shows a majority of voters in North Carolina opposed to Amendment One, the anti-LGBT amendment to the state constitution on the May 8 primary ballot.
Amendment One would prohibit the state from recognizing gay marriages, civil unions or any other domestic partnership arrangements, whether between gay or straight couples. Only a one-man, one-woman marriage would count.
Oddly, the Elon Poll results are roughly the opposite of the poll taken less than two weeks ago for the J.W. Pope Citivas Institute, the Art Pope-funded conservative organization. Civitas hired a New Jersey polling firm that reported strong support for Amendment One.
The Elon Poll is nonpartisan and unaffiliated with any political group.
(One update/observation: Look at the way Elon asked the question. First, they ask about attitudes toward same-sex marriage and civil unions. Then they ask about the amendment. It's a unbiased question, but it's preceded by a question that causes people to stop and think. If you just ask, as the Civitas poll did, whether people support an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, a majority seem reflexively to say yes.)
From the Coalition:
NEW POLL SHOWS INCREASING OPPOSITION TO AMENDMENT ONE
Majority of North Carolinians Oppose Constitutional Amendment on May
8, 2012 Ballot
Elon, N.C. — A new Elon University Poll released today shows that a
majority of North Carolinians oppose Amendment One, a constitutional
amendment on the May 8, 2012, North Carolina primary ballot that bans
relationship recognitions and threatens protections for the state’s
The nonpartisan poll revealed that 54.2% of North Carolinians surveyed
either oppose or strongly oppose “an amendment to the constitution
that would ban same-sex marriage.” Only 37.8% polled were in any way
supportive of Amendment One. The poll also illustrates a dramatic
increase in the category of “strong opposition” to this type of
amendment from only one year ago, with 34% now voicing strong
opposition versus 21.8% in February 2011.
Overall opposition to Amendment One increased even further when North
Carolinians polled were asked whether they opposed an amendment to the
North Carolina constitution “that would prevent civil unions and
domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.” Nearly 57% of North
Carolinians (56.9%) polled opposed or strongly opposed an amendment on
“The Elon University poll is a clear sign that North Carolina is
AGAINST Amendment One,” said Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for
Protect All NC Families, the coalition effort to defeat Amendment One.
“The more people learn about this poorly-written amendment and its
unintended consequences, the more they realize it will harm our
children, their families, unmarried women, and seniors.”
The Elon poll did not inquire about Amendment One support or
opposition based on unintended harms to all unmarried couples in North
Carolina, including a permanent ban on domestic partner benefits for
public employees, as well as how it could negatively affect
enforcement of domestic violence laws, child custody agreements and
end-of-life directives. A recent state panel tasked with explaining
Amendment One to voters found that there is significant debate among
legal experts about how the amendment might impact various legal
protections for public and private employee benefits as well as other
harms. The panel ultimately concluded that the state’s court system
would need to determine Amendment One’s lasting consequences.
“While the Elon Poll does not touch on the vast array of known and
potential harms of this type of overreaching legislation—harms that
were a reality in other states—it does mirror the momentum we’ve seen
in our work on the ground throughout the state,” said Kennedy. The
more North Carolinians know about Amendment One, the more support for