When I opened my eyes Wednesday morning of last week, I was relived to be waking up a resident of New York State. Why, you ask? Tuesday night, North Carolina passed Amendment One, an amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Although North Carolina was a state which already held a law banning gay marriage, Amendment One securely slams the door on the issue, going one step further in including a ban on same-sex civil unions.
However, members of the LGBT community are not the only ones who should be saddened by this decision; the “marriage-plus” amendment could potentially affect straight couples in civil union. Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for Protect All NC Families, a campaign against Amendment One, is concerned about the future of health benefits for domestic partners, gay or straight. There is also the fear that Amendment One could disrupt protection orders for unmarried couples, making it difficult to file for domestic abuse cases if a person is living with their significant other.
Amendment One is clearly a discriminatory act, which not only threatens the relationship status of the LGBT community, but also the security of quality health care and human rights for all. I encourage all people in favor of equal marriage laws, as well as those in favor of basic human rights, to stand up for what you believe in. There are many who hold reservations as to how long the amendment will survive, and for good reason. We are the future of the United States, and only our generation, young and informed, can stand against inexcusable amendments like Amendment One if we let our voices be heard.
Today, I am not only proud to live in a state which allows marriage equality, but am proud to be involved with an organization like Planned Parenthood. I know that if Amendment One does affect access to health care benefits for those in the LGBT community, Planned Parenthood will be there to offer quality health care for those who need it. With the help of others, especially those of my own generation, I hope to someday be proud to wake up in a place where love is not restricted or defined.
Marketing Intern, PPRSR
Image via www.hrc.org.