We can win in North Carolina — if everybody on our side plays to win

On May 8th, voters in North Carolina will vote on Amendment One. It’s a far-reaching, anti-gay measure and it must be defeated.

Two recent posts by two of the great LGBT bloggers have really laid out the arguments for why North Carolina is important and how we can win.

On Sunday, Scott Wooledge wrote an in-depth post titled, Visualizing victory over North Carolina’s anti-gay amendment. Scott gives a really thorough examination of the campaign and the prospects:

The LGBT community is sure to break the religious right’s winning streak in 2012 among the five battles looming. In some ways, North Carolina could be the sweetest and most resounding victory of all, just precisely because the conventional wisdom has written it off as undoable. I can’t imagine a more effective way to strike the fear of God into the hearts of marriage equality opponents than to see (another) southern state vote down an amendment like this. Recall the national shock waves that followed Mississippi voting down the personhood amendment after so many serious people declared it was destined to pass?

It presents a real opportunity to knock the religious right back on their heels. Imagine the panicked spin they’d have to put out in the wake of such a humiliating defeat just six months before they head into Maine, Washington, Minnesota and Maryland to waged the very same battle. Brian Brown President of National Organization for Marriage said Friday:

If our opponents were to steal victory in North Carolina, it would be devastating for the cause of marriage nationwide—and they know it.

Yesterday, Pam Spaulding, who lives in North Carolina, asked an important question: As anti-Amendment One momentum grows, will the President say anything when he visits NC on Wed?

President Obama is traveling to the Charlotte, North Carolina area tomorrow (he or another Admin official seem to do a NC visit about once a month at this point – the First Lady was here last week). He’ll be here on Wednesday to visit the Daimler Trucks North America Manufacturing Plant in Mt. Holly.

Will he tell North Carolinians that they should vote Amendment One — optimally on camera, or for god’s sake, even for print? The administration has said it opposes such amendments in principle, so it’s at no political cost to say it to voters in this state.

As Pam notes, the First Lady was in North Carolina over the weekend. Not a word about Amendment One.

It’s not a stretch for Obama to say vote No. After all, he did oppose Prop. 8, something he reminded me of during our interview on October 27, 2010:

ME: And part of it is that you can’t be equal in this country if the very core of who you are as a person and the love — the person you love is not — if that relationship isn’t the same as everybody else’s, then we’re not equal. And I think that a lot of — particularly in the wake of the California election on Prop 8, a lot of gay people realized we’re not equal. And I think that that’s — that’s been part of the change in the —

THE PRESIDENT: Prop 8, which I opposed.

How about saying the some thing about opposing Amendment One?

Of course, I think that marriage equality should be in the Democratic platform. But, I think our time is better spent winning in North Carolina, the site of the Democratic convention. Sure seems like that convention will be a lot more fun if we can go to a state that thinks we’re equal.

Protect All NC Families is running the effort to defeat Amendment One. I’ve been impressed with their savvy and their energy. We need to help them win — and by “we” I mean everyone, from the President and First Lady to the LGBT organizations to the community at large.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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