Lawyers hold Amendment One debate

May 3, 2012 8:17:11 PM PDT
The growing debate over Amendment One is heating up as primary election day draws closer. Thursday evening, lawyers from both sides took up the issue in Raleigh.

"Y'all are pretty nice down here," said Ken Klukowski, the Director of the Center for Religious Liberty.

Klukowski traveled to Raleigh from Washington to join Vote for Marriage North Carolina Chairwoman Tami Fitzergald to support Amendment One.

"It's about protecting the future of our society," said Klukowski. "Children need a mom and a dad."

Arguing against the amendment were North Carolina American Civil Liberty Union Legal Director Katy Parker and Duke Professor Mike Munger, who said blocking same-sex marriage violates equal protection under contract law.

"We offer an exclusive marriage contract to any two people who want to sign it," said Munger. "Unless and we make this exception for same sex couples which is illegitimate."

The amendment would ban the state from honoring civil unions and define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman in the state's constitution.

It's a heated issue igniting passion statewide.

The Raleigh and Charlotte Catholic Dioceses are using mailers to urge voters to support the amendment.

Opponents say the amendment would possibly block current legal domestic violence protections.

"Why would we write language into our state constitution that could... that nobody knows what it means," said Parker.

"This amendment ensures that voters will always determine what marriage will be here," said Tami Fitzgerald, with North Carolina Values Coalition.

Supporters believe it would protect marriage from activist judges, which is a threat the ACLU said is unlikely.

"It is a ridiculous waste of time, taxpayer money, resources for a problem that does not exist," said Parker.

Primary election day is May 8. Early voting continues across the state through Saturday afternoon.

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