Today’s Huffington Post has an excellent example of the possible negative effects of North Carolina’s proposed anti-gay Amendment One ballot measure:
Libby and Melissa Hodge moved to North Carolina from Georgia in 2008 — where a similar marriage amendment was passed in 2004 — in hopes of a more secure life for their daughter, 4.
The women married in Vancouver in 2006, but have yet to live in a state that recognizes their marriage.
After Georgia’s amendment passed, they began looking for jobs in what they thought would be a friendlier state. Eventually, Libby Hodge found a job with the city of Durham, one of several local governments in North Carolina offering benefits to domestic partners; she now receives health coverage that covers Melissa Hodge’s biological daughter. (The Hodges requested that the child be referred to only by her middle name Elaine.) The Hodges planned for a second parent adoption, so that Libby could be also be legally recognized as Elaine’s parent, providing more financial security for the child.
But in 2010, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled against a second parent adoption in families headed by a same-sex couple, making an adoption far more difficult. And if Amendment 1 passes in May, Elaine will lose her health benefits through Libby’s plan. For Elaine to be covered by Melissa’s plan could cost an additional $500 a month.
The Hodges are feeling additional financial uncertainty because the amendment would raise questions about how the courts would deal with not only child custody issues but also about visitation rights and end-of-life arrangements.
“It’s hard to know where the ripple will stop if something goes wrong,” Libby Hodge said. “We still don’t know exactly what the effects of the amendment will be, and we don’t know how to plan for that. You just pray that nothing ever goes wrong.”
This is real people and real families who will be effected; who will find it harder to create the kind of security and stability for their families. It’s not just about people of the same sex wanting wedding gifts or some supuerflous validadion of their relationship. This is about real consesquences that can affect the lives and livelyhoods of individuals of current and future generations. Don’t make life, liberty and security harder for GLBT’s who are contributing good to society (and we are). Vote ‘no’ on Amendment One come May 8th, Tar Heels. It’s the right thing to do.