The leading group fighting against a
proposed North Carolina constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage
has rejected a poll as biased.
Lawmakers will return to Raleigh on
September 12 to begin a special session on constitutional amendments
which will consider whether to send three issues, including the
marriage amendment, to the ballot box in 2012.
Equality North Carolina says a
December, 2010 poll from the conservative Civitas Institute in
Raleigh inflates support for the amendment by avoiding use of the
term “ban same-sex marriage.”
Sixty-five percent of respondents said
they strongly or somewhat favor “an amendment to the North Carolina
constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.”
Proponents have used the Civitas survey in promoting the amendment.
Equality North Carolina points to a
February, 2011 Elon University poll which found a majority (56%) of
North Carolinians opposed to a constitutional amendment.
While support for legalizing gay
marriage has increased 7 percent in the state since 2009, the Elon
poll found 28 percent of respondents in favor of full marriage
rights, and 29 percent in favor of civil unions or domestic
That is, a question that attempts to
ban all forms of legal recognition – one of the options on the
table – and clearly articulates its objective to the voter would
likely fail, according to the Elon survey.
“It is despicable that anti-gay
forces would attempt to mislead lawmakers and divide North
Carolinians with these false assertions and half-truths,” said
Alex Miller, interim executive director of Equality North Carolina.
“The type of environment created by this amendment, of 'hate at
all costs,' is just a taste of what's to come if lawmakers succeed in
perpetuating a divisive 14-month ballot campaign that will only hurt
families, business, and the perception of our state as a welcoming
place for all.”