The anti-gay contingent has declared Feb. 7–14 National Marriage Week—a euphemism, a whitewashing, a smokescreen that, in fact, does not celebrate marriage. Rather, it applauds bigotry and elevates discrimination against gays, lesbians and those in a heterosexual domestic partnership to the level of a sacred mission.
Given the occasion, there may be no better time for the Indy to launch its coverage of Amendment 1, the so-called Defense of Marriage Amendment, which, if passed, would codify bigotry in the state constitution by banning same-sex marriage in North Carolina. Read Jonathan Weiler's column this week to learn more about the damaging, far-reaching implications to not only same-sex couples but also heterosexuals in domestic partnerships.
From now through the May election, when voters will decide the fate of the amendment, the Indy will cover various aspects of the issue—legal, ethical, political—and the people behind the respective movements.
In the Indy's 29-year history, the paper has always supported LGBT rights, and not just in theory: Many of our employees are openly gay or lesbian, and as a company we equally acknowledge their anniversaries, marriages, civil unions and the birth of their children as those of their straight counterparts.
The Indy is taking an institutional stand against DOMA. We are united with those who are fighting against one of the most harmful pieces of legislation in North Carolina history. —Lisa Sorg
- Thursday, Feb. 9, 5:30–7:30 p.m. Fundraising reception to defeat DOMA at the home of Gerda Stein, 221 W. Park Drive. Tickets $50. RSVP and info: email@example.com.
- Saturday, Feb. 11, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Historic Thousands on Jones Street March on Raleigh and People's Assembly. The NC NAACP and many of the HKonJ coalition partners have come out strong against Amendment 1, which will be addressed at this event. Gather at 9:30 a.m. at Shaw University, 118 E. South St.; march to the Legislative Building begins at 10:30.
- Saturday, Feb. 25, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. "Many Voices, One Love," a conference sponsored by The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. At Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte. Register at manyvoicesonelove.com.
- On Twitter, Neighbors for Equality, @NC4Equality, is launching a weekly chat about DOMA. Follow the discussion beginning Feb. 13 at #Amendment1.
Who is against DOMA?
- Last month, the N.C. Central University Student Senate passed a resolution opposing Amendment 1. On Feb. 1, the executive committee of the Libertarian Party of Mecklenburg County unanimously adopted a resolution opposing DOMA.
- Other opponents: the Episcopal Diocese of NC, the Durham and Raleigh city councils, Carrboro Board of Aldermen and Chapel Hill Town Council.
- U.S. Rep. David Price, a Democrat representing the Fourth District, publicly opposed the amendment. As have Congressman Brad Miller and gubernatorial candidates Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and Bob Etheridge.
Pro-DOMA groups to watch
- NC Values Coalition, led by former General Assembly lobbyist Tami Fitzgerald, an attorney and former executive director of NC4Marriage.
- Christian Action League of N.C., a public policy organization representing evangelical Christians, including the group NC Baptists, throughout the state.
- National Organization for Marriage, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit with a lobbyists and a political action committee that tries to influence policy on same-sex marriage.
- In N.C., 65 of 68 Republicans voted last fall to put DOMA on the ballot (two didn't vote and one had an excused absence). Ten Democrats crossed over and joined GOP lawmakers, guaranteeing the legislation's passage: William Brisson, Jim Crawford Jr., Elmer Floyd, Ken Goodman, Charles Graham, Dewey Hill, Frank McGuirt, Bill Owens, Garland Pierce and Tim Spear.
Have DOMA news, events or tips? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.