Amendment One – Beware of unintended consequences…

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.

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About Mike Daisley - Civil Litigation Attorney, Mediator, Writer, Licensed Lay Preacher (Episcopal Church, Diocese of North Carolina)

Mike Daisley is a civil litigation attorney and Certified Mediator in Charlotte, North Carolina, and owner and president of "DaisleyLegal" a virtual law firm focused on helping victims of drunk driving injuries and other careless individuals and corporations. He devotes a significant time of his practice as a mediator in North Carolina's Superior Courts, using his 35 years of litigation experience to counsel and assist opposing parties to resolve their disputes and lawsuits cooperatively, avoiding the high expenses and time commitments involved in going to trial. In addition to his commitment to Civil Trial Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mike is also an avid writer, and has a wide array of interests outside of his legal practice, including stints as a columnist for The Charlotte Observer, political analyst for WCNC-TV and WBT Radio. Mike’s biggest passion outside the law is learning and writing about theology, and especially the role doubt plays in faith, the role faith plays (or should play) in politics, and (as he puts it) the “beauty and deep mystery” of the liturgy. Mike is a lifelong Episcopalian, and often jokes that means "I am a raging agnostic at least two or three days a week.” In 2019, he was appointed by the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina as a licensed Lay Preacher in the Episcopal Church. (A sample of Mike’s preaching can be heard here: To discuss the possibility of teaching, lecture, sermon or interview requests (or to make any comments or suggestions about the “WithGladness” blog) you may contact Mike at any Office email : Personal email: Office voicemail: (704) 554-2306 Mike Daisley & Associates, LLC 1515 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 400 Charlotte, North Carolina 28209
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