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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest 1964

    You may be right and you may be wrong…only time will tell. Who knows who is lying and who is telling the truth? Just like when you go to vote any politician in. Majority of them mislead you in their campaigns…we know this is a true fact. The evidence speaks for itself. But like I said…time will tell. Hope you’re right on this one though, because I would hate to see this blow up in everyone’s face. Who knows? Have a blessed day! :)

  • Hmm…

    Do you think it is very Christian like of you to talk to someone in such a demeaning manor? It is not YOUR place, not my place to judge, no ones place to judge. It is your place to follow the bible as you see fit. What others do or do not do is their sins and one day THEY will have to answer to God. YOU will never have to answer to God for someone elses sins, I promise.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …as long as the couple has good, up-to-date wills. The secret there is keeping them up to date. It’s also a good idea to have living wills and an up to date power of attorney for final disposition. The probate/disposition problems for gays and Lesbians only arise when one of them dies intestate and devoid of all these common sense documents. You may have seen that case I mentioned up in Lenoir County, and that was totally outrageous. The decedent’s partner of many years was frozen out of all final arrangements by a daughter who had spoken to her father maybe three times in the last five years.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid the blatant tax unfairness.

  • Guest857

    Reminds me of Sharia Law Das. I bet those who will vote for this amendment wouldn’t want Sharia Law invoked upon them. The blue laws were just as stupid. Religion doesn’t belong in politics.

  • Das Weibstück

    ” I guess immoral acts pay, don’t they?”… ask your Mom.

  • Das Weibstück

    Most Christians are hate worthy.

  • tweety

    Sure we all have skeletons in the closet but i can tell you have studied the word in along time or not at all. Yes we are all sinners even on sunday and the other six days of the week.

  • GuestMan

    You are a sick person that sounds homophobic. Is your “marriage” being diminished by same sex people living together and wanting it recognized as partners? If it is you don’t have anything, anyway.

  • GuestProgress

    It’s pretty much the same thing with gay sex. Up until 1962, gay sex between two consenting adults was a felony in every state in the United States. Real progress there, huh?

  • GuestIknow

    I know exactly what I’m voting for. I’m voting to legally define marriage as between a man and a woman. Period. I don’t need all the little extra amendments you refer to in your post. It seems pretty simple to me. Why complicate it?

    A lot of propoganda has been spread by gay organizations about how voting for this amendment will affect kids and heterosexuals living together. It’s just propoganda; don’t fall for it. It’s a desparate attempt to try to scare people into voting against the amendment so that they can get access to health and tax benefits.

    I don’t hate gays, but neither do I condone their lifestyle, and if I vote against the amendment that’s exactly what I would be doing.

  • You need to calm down. Getting that upset could bring on a heart attack.

  • GuestReality

    Well said, GOP! I don’t usually agree with a lot of your posts, but I’m 100% with you on this one!

  • tweety


  • tweety

    mr MAJ sounds like you are on the left and you are looking to marry your partner.Divorce has nothing to do with what this is about Gay men and women don’t always stay together.

  • Guest 1964

    I just want everyone to note that before you vote you need to make sure you know what you are voting for or against. In my opionon, and mine opinion only, I believe this ammendment should been broken down into several ammendments and voted on that way, if there is more to it than the ‘One Man, One Woman’. Because if that indeed is a fact that others such as kids will be affected, there will be a lot of people that will ‘shoot themselves in their own foot’ today when they go to vote…because they were possibly miss led about the ammendment. That is just my opinion. I also and ashamed, as a devout christian and human, at the hatred that I have seen on these post. You are to love everyone…doesn’t mean you have to love their ways. But all you can do is pray for those folks, if you disagree with their lifestyles, whatever and however they choose to live it. YOU ARE TO LOVE EVERYONE. :) If you want to disagree do it in taste not hatered. Once more: You get to people more with love and prayer than you can with a frown and hatred…in which you get nowhere. If you are a christian, I would suggest to put all hatred you have aside, ask for forgiveness, and fall on your knees and pray for all the lost souls of this world…if you are so truly concerned. Just my opinion…GOD IS AWESOME!!! :)

  • Christian

    Sounds like you have more problems going on than just the claim your rights are being violated. Hating, name calling and anger will not get you anywhere. Take a deep breath and thank God for it.

  • Das Weibstück

    Can you go the legal route for any of these things? Power of Attorneys, trusts, wills etc? Not sure how these things can be accomplished or if they can through this method.

  • get over it

    yes vote how you want since when did a book of lies like the bible become law to follow 99% percent of you who are against this and say the book of a fake god states a marriage is between one male one female are nothing but hypocrites i can bet you all have skeletons in the closet and only follow the good book on Sundays and the rest of the week are sinners. but then again i am preaching to southern united states who continue to fly the flag of a enemy of the united states of america yes im talking about the confederate flag which was flown by an enemy and lost but cant get over it

  • Das Weibstück

    Adultery is illegal in the following states:

    North Carolina

    Rhode Island





    South Carolina












    “The punishment of adultery ranges from a $10 fine to an apparent life imprisonment. Even though adultery is illegal in 23 states, it is rarely ever enforced.

    Some politicians hold strong to enforcing adultery laws and keeping them. Often times, the laws are kept due to conservative groups’ efforts.”

  • Grand Ole Party

    How about you move to a nice society that allows gay marriage? The US also has something called MORALS. I find all this amusing. When the left decided that for some reason the cross on a chapel at a base in Afghanistan was offensive, well the majority had to remove it. When the minority left decided that prayer in school was somehow bothersome, well the majority had to stop praying in school. When the left decided that they were for some reason offended with the ten commandments being displayed in court, well hell the majority caved and removed them. When the left decided that a nativity scene in the yard of the local fire dept. caused them so much pain, well once again the majority caved and removed it. When for some unknown reason the left was offended that Walt-Mart employee’s said Merry Christmas, the majority decided to just say Happy Holidays. And now you are pissed because the MAJORITY won’t cave again? Maybe the majority has decided to take a stand finally. I guess you left leaning minorities should pick and choose your battles a little more wisely.

  • GuestReality

    Oh, you’re bigoted. I’ve seen your past posts about Christians. You’re just bigoted about a different group.

  • GuestReally

    Yeah, the home decorator business is quite lucrative…or are you a hairdresser? They make pretty good money too. With all that money, why do you want “legal rights”? You don’t need those to go see your “partner” in the hospital or leave your estates to each other. You can do that as individuals. To file taxes jointly is probably closer to the truth…it would give you a tax break to file as a couple. That $170,000 in federal taxes is tough, huh?

    It’s always funny to me how rich most homosexual people are. I guess immoral acts pay, don’t they?

  • GuestReally

    You’re so silly. Resorting to name calling really doesn’t help your cause. It just makes you look like you already lost the argument. Funny how low people can go when they can’t make a point intelligently.

    We may all be attracted to the opposite sex…but not everyone CHOOSES to act on it. Yes, I have a choice. I choose to be straight. The fact that your choose to be gay is what makes you in the minority. You haven’t learned how to control your unnatural sexual urges. Sad.

  • GuestReality

    The Bible is a Book of Truth, which is why you don’t like it or agree with it. You would rather live in ignorance than be bathed in Truth. You want everyone to be accepting of your homosexual lifestyle, and that will never happen. There will always be godly men and women who will find your lifestyle abhorrant and disgusting.

    Bringing the Civil War into a conversation about gay marriage only shows your ignorance, but then I already knew that by your lack of punctuation, your lack of full sentences, and your poor grammar.

    Once you’ve lost your temper, you’ve lost the argument.

  • Guest555555

    Sorry, sweetie, hard to believe you were born in Wilmington with your weird ideas and interpretations, but whatever. You already have your individual rights, so just keep living your unnatural lifestyle as is.

    I tend to think that women aren’t attracted to YOU. Or they hurt you in some previous lifetime. Or they looked at your wrong. Or you were the wallflower at the school dance and they didn’t pick you to dance. Whatever. You still made a choice. You made a choice to lay with other men and live an unnatural lifestyle. Try to twist it all you want, but you’re the minority for a reason. You continue to choose to live your lifestyle because you like it, and you’re not willing to change it. Period.

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    How about you move to a nice theocratic society like Iran. The US has something called separation of church and state

  • jj


    The minority is always trying to force their will onto everyone else.

  • jj

    How about reading the Bible and divorce. To help you out here is a link…


    Adultery should be out outlawed..

  • Das Weibstück

    I am not gay. I am a married female with children and Grandchildren. I was also raised by non bigoted parents unlike you.

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    Guest…I probably make more than you ever will. Quite frankly, I could retire tomorrow and not work again and be just fine. I pay for my own health benefits, and unfortunately so does my partner. So to assume that because we want equal rights, such as the right to file taxes jointly, the right to see each other in the hospital, the right to leave our estates to each other if something happens…that is no asking for a hand out. Last year I paid over $170,000 in federal taxes alone….so don’t go assuming. It doesn’t become you

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    Let me ask you this…if being gay is a choice, then being straight is a choice. Therefore you, assuming you are straight, made that choice to be straight. Meaning you could presumably be attracted to the same sex as well, you just CHOOSE not to. Doesn’t work that way dumba**. I can’t help it that i’m not attracted to women…just not wired that way. Never have been

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    I was born in Wilmington…and I don’t want something for nothing. I just want the same rights as everyone else. I pay my taxes and don’t hurt anyone…why should I not get them?

    Also…just to make it clear…I did NOT choose to be gay. Frankly I would never haven chosen a more difficult life, but it’s the hand i was dealt. I am in NO WAY attracted to women. Doesn’t do it for me, not wired that way. SO get off your high horse and open your mind to the fact that you may just not be right

  • GuestMe

    Boy, you’re really grabbing at straws, aren’t you? You’re comparing apples to oranges just because you’re upset that this amendment will pass. When you lose your temper, you’ve lost the argument.

    Uh, no, divorce isn’t illegal in any state, so the courts won’t be outlawing that. Adultery is against God’s law, but you obviously could care less about that. It used to be against the law (man’s), but it’s no longer enforced…except in alienation of affection cases.

    Just keep pulling rabbits out of the hat…you’re just making yourself look foolish.

  • Guest2020

    The amendment is necessary because it will become a matter of state constitution instead of a general statute. The federal government will be less powerful to impose their will against the state’s constitution.

  • GuestReality

    If it’s so redundant, why are you fighting it so hard?

  • GuestReally

    Oh, please….it’s not MY fault…I was BORN this way???? That makes it so easy for you, doesn’t it?

    Your lifestyle is a CHOICE, just like being an addict is a choice. You may be predisposed to it, but you have a choice. It’s like people born with a “fat” gene; they may have the gene, but they have to make the choice to overeat to activate that fat gene. Same thing with an alcoholic or a drug addict. Everything we do in life is our own choice. We’re not mindless robots that can’t control our own actions. We make our own choices.

  • zapatogirl

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. I don’t understand why with a divorce rate of 50% due to adultery and other reconcilable differences that the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman is such a huge issue. People have the right to make their own choices and no one has the right to judge.

  • Missy

    Vote how you wish on this amendment, but understand that WWAY is reporting spin and lies.

    It’s not the truth that children will no longer be covered by insurance companies.

    It’s also not the truth that unmarried people in a relationsip will no longer be protected by domestec violence laws.

    Shame, shame, shame on you WWAY for not reporting the truth!!

  • Guest555555

    Sorry you hate me, but glad this amendment will pass. You knew when you chose that lifestyle that you would not have the same legal rights as a man and a woman. It didn’t seem to matter then.

    You talk about us spewing hatred and bigotry, but you’re doing the same. Hatred in your heart for Christianity and for Christians; your own words. What we learned about you from your post:

    (1) You’re a homosexual
    (2) You’re a yankee transplant
    (3) You’re a hypocrit
    (4) You’re a hater
    (5) You’re a bigot
    (6) You want something for nothing

    You’re one messed up individual, and you do and say nothing to help your “cause”. People like you are why people like us are voting FOR this amendment.

  • Grand Ole Party

    It’s a two way street. The majority is tired of the minority enforcing their will upon us. As far this amendment breeding hate in your heart towards Christians, you have professed your hatred towards them several times in the past. So really that is nothing new. You hate them, they hate you. See how it works both ways? You are just as much a bigot as they are.

  • GuestReality

    So you want the “legal rights that marriage provides”…what would that be? The ability to apply for welfare, food stamps, housing, if your “spouse” leaves? The ability to add your “spouse” to your health insurance coverage and drive up medical costs for everyone else? Let’s face it; the reality is that you want to cash in on benefits and take the money out of our pockets so you can stuff yours. It’s not about idealogic love and marriage, it’s about money and benefits.

  • Das Weibstück

    Exactly. Gays cant marry here already, this is a redundant amendment.

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    So let me ask all of your right wing christians….if this law passes, will we also be outlawing divorce and adultery? I meant if we are going to protect the so called “sanctity” of marriage, surely divorce should be outlawed right. I mean really, how dare a woman who is beaten every day be allowed to divorce and ruin a marriage.

  • Das Weibstück

    Your god is not judging anything. You are one hateful human being. I hope none of your children or family members is GAY. It would be traumatic for them to know they are hated so much for something that they can not help being.

  • deputy 25

    if gay and lesbian is suppose to be right, then why did they hide in the closet all these years???? the last thing you want to see is two men or two women kissing and hugging all over on each other. that is about as sick as it could be. i voted FOR this morning. get back in your closets and stay there. no wonder this country is going to hell, look at all the mess and sins that are going on. God is Judging this nation. it won’t be Obama that just brings us down, it will be the sins as well. remember Sodom and Gomorrah!

  • Guest20202

    And what the amendment doesn’t do is affect custody agreements, domestic abuse cases and it doesn’t take away a child’s health insurance. Those commercials have been a bunch of bald-faced lies.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Well Thom, you pompous ass, you may have a point because I voted for you and encouraged others to. I suppose I should reconsider doing that again, since you think that I don’t knowe what I’m talking about.

    Anyone with the reading comprehension of a fifth grader can see that this amendment will prohibit any chance of ever providing domestic partnerships or civil unions to gay couples, thus permanently denying them the same benefits relative to taxation and probate that you or I enjoy.

    Thom, arrogance is no virtue. I can read, I can see what the amendment says, and the simple fact that you would help ram this through prior to putting Kelo v New London to bed PERMANENTLY speaks volumes. This is simply a way to not only prevent gay marriages (which I would have supported) but to punish gays and make them second class citizens.

  • Polly II

    All I hear these people saying is “MAY”, “COULD”, “DON’T KNOW”!!!!!!
    “THEY” really don’t know anything themselves! Though the law “maybe” vague it still will once and for all define that marriage “IS” between a MAN and a WOMAN. Why do we have to have this signed into law? Because these immoral people that want their own “lifestyle”. The liberal agenda people are the ones that are spreading “hate” and “discontent”. Why do you have to spread the crap if you are right? The destruction of signs and people’s private property is the work of those who are on the wrong side of life and when these things are done they only show their true colors.

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    You know, my partner and I honestly have no desire to enter into “holy matrimony.” We only want the legal rights that marriage provides…I don’t care what it is called quite frankly. Personally I think the government should only be in the business of domestic partnerships…leave marriage to churches

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    Just like the lie that same-sex marriage hurts anyone! It DOES NOT!

  • GuestCharles Lennon

    I cannot believe you reported the interview with Lawyer Coxe as news and not a paid advertisement. There are many qualified lawyers who have assured us that all the false doom and gloom that Coxe and his friends have been repeating is just political rhetoric designed to frighten voters. Your management knows this and you still reported the interview as if Coxe was stating established facts. You said you tried to contact Sen. Goolsby but he did not answer. There are many others you could have contacted who could give the other side of the story. You can express your opinions in your editorials but do not try to disguise your opinions as news. You waited until the eve of the election to do this so that the other side would not have a chance to reply. I will view all future stories from WWAY with suspicion now that you have shown how youy play the game. Shame on you.
    Charles Lennon

  • Eric78

    I wish the news would just post the views of both sides. All I see is reasons for not voting. Sad that WWAY is so biased in liberal views. But also never knew it was so liberal in the area till voting. Oh well.

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    You can preach about god all you want…you can spew hatred and bigotry all you want, you can even try to make an argument based on your version of morality…what no one can do is prove that my partner and I have 5 years getting married to have the same LEGAL rights as as man & woman will hurt you or anyone else in any way. The sad thing is that this is nothing more than the majority enforcing their will on a minority. There is a reason that we have separation of church and state and a reason that the populace should never have the right to vote on the fate of a minority. Let’s not forget that if civil rights and slavery had been left to a vote, black people would likely still be in chains in the south.

    Furthermore, I can say without a doubt that this amendment does nothing but breed hatred. Hatred in my heart for every single person who votes for it, and hatred for christianity and christians.

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