I don’t want this new blog to be “political.” (I’m actually working on another blog for that — stay tuned!) It’s only when laws are being proposed that I know will have some pretty drastic consequences, I feel I have a duty to at least inform folks.
Such is the case with Amendment One.
This proposed Amendment to North Carolina’s Constitution has just 55 words, but you really need to focus in on the key three – “domestic legal union.” Here’s how that phrase is used…
“A marriage between a man and a woman is the only
domestic legal union that shall be valid…”
The only problem is that no one knows what that legal term really means. It has never been used in a statute, or an opinion of the North Carolina Supreme Court, or by any panel of The Court of Appeals.
It will likely take years of litigation to sort out all kinds of new legal issues. Will women in unmarried domestic relationships still will get domestic violence protection? Whether child custody arrangements between unmarried parents (straight or gay) will still be honored? Will a lifetime companion (again, straight or gay) still be able to make health care decisions under a power of attorney for an ill partner? Later language in the Amendment does call for the rights of private parties to contract, but domestic violence laws are not contracts and neither really are powers of attorney.
This amendment is a wealth of ambiguity.
While some folks argue that the YES vs. NO choice on this Amendment is between pro-traditional family versus anti-traditional family. I don’t think that is really the case, but I’ll leave that argument to others. This I do know — Yes is a vote for legal uncertainty; No favors legal predictability.