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Marriage Amendment Opponents Close to Million-Dollar Fundraising Mark

March 26, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In six weeks, North Carolina voters will decide the fate of the Marriage Amendment, a proposal its opponents say would affect domestic partner benefits and domestic violence laws statewide. In the last two months, fundraising efforts to defeat the amendment have picked up speed. Anti-amendment organizers say they are now $50,000 away from reaching $1 million.

Charlotte attorney Chris Connelly is one of more than 3,000 individual donors to the opposition effort. For him, this issue is not about being liberal or conservative, he says.

"I'm married for 20 years. I'm a Republican for more than that, and I'm opposed to this. It's not going to make companies want to be in North Carolina. I want them to be focused on the economy, not on social issues."

Organizers say 88 percent of the money they have received has come from in-state donors, and to defeat the amendment they will need $1 million more. Efforts in North Carolina to defeat the Marriage Amendment far exceed those made in other states, they add.

Jeremy Kennedy is the campaign manager for the Coalition to Protect All N.C. Families. He says the fundraising efforts are focused on a multimedia education campaign about the amendment.

"As soon as people know even just a little bit about what this amendment actually does, we know a majority of North Carolinians will vote against Amendment One."

Supporters of the Marriage Amendment say it is only meant as an attempt to legally define marriage as between a man and a woman.

A recent poll by Survey USA pegged support for the Marriage Amendment at 58 percent. That's down from 65 percent in previous polls.

Stephanie Carroll Carson/Diane Ronayne, Public News Service - NC