WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new poll says a Constitutional amendment blocking gay marriage in North Carolina could easily become law tomorrow. The amendment defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but some folks say there is more at stake than just who gets to wear a ring on their left hand.
Lawyers say everyone can expect legal changes if Amendment One passes Tuesday.
“There are certainly a number of unintended consequences,” attorney Bradley Coxe said.
The text of Senate Bill 514 is simple. It says, “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” But the simplicity of the text of the Constitutional amendment on Tuesday’s ballot may create some issues beyond marriage rights.
“The problem is we don’t know what ‘domestic legal relationships’ are, because it’s not defined anywhere,” Coxe said.
If the amendment passes, unions other than marriages would not be recognized, benefits may be taken away, and domestic violence orders may no longer be enforceable.
Coxe says legal experts from across the state have urged legislators to reconsider the amendment, because of the legal backlash that could come from the changes. He says he does not think the authors of the amendment thought of everything that would be effected.
“It’s not just me. I think every law professor, certainly every family law professor in the state of North Carolina, has raised their hand and said, ‘You didn’t think this through. This is a problem,'” he said.
For now, the decision is in the hands of the people who vote for or against the amendment Tuesday at the polls.
We tried to talk with Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-9th District), who has supported the amendment from the beginning, but he did not call us back. According to an online video blog though, Goolsby says those who are against the amendment don’t know what they’re talking about.