Within a day of launching a high-profile campaign to oppose the anti-gay Amendment One in North Carolina, the Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has launched a video encouraging citizens of the state to approve the bill on May 8 — even as two different polls suggest that the support for the amendment is dropping.
The voters will be asked to vote on the statement: “Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” Thus, the measure, if approved, would outlaw even civil unions between same-sex couples, and would outlaw similar legal arrangements between heterosexual couples.
In his video, Mr Gingrich says:
Marriage between a man and a woman is at the heart of our civilization. It’s a belief that is now under attack, yet it’s at the very core of defining who we are. That’s why I urge you to vote for the initiative right here in North Carolina. The chance to vote for a referendum to declare clearly that marriage is between a man and a woman.
This is part of the same great process this year that’s involved with President Obama, and that’s involved with the whole danger of what’s happening to our basic beliefs. There’s an effort by radicals at every level to change who we are, to change what America is and to change for our children into a future that I think will be much worse.
This is your chance to turn out and vote and vote for preserving America, and to vote for preserving a very basic institution.
There is strong evidence that the voters are confused about what the amendment actually entails, as reflected by conflicting results on the poll. One recent survey by Public Policy Polling, which revealed that 58% of voters were likely to vote ‘for’ the amendment, with only 38% against. (This despite the poll last year finding almost the contrary.) Yet, 51% said that they supported some kind of legal recognition for LGBT couples, with 34% of that same group still intending to vote for the amendment.
That said, another survey by Elon University found that 60% of those polled would oppose the measure.
Today, Public Policy Polling released a new survey, though this time it used the statement of the amendment itself. The polling itself was conducted before the anti-amendment campaign was launched, and found a six-point displacement from the last poll, with 54% likely to vote for the survey, and 40% against.
The latest poll not only suggests that there are more undecided voters, but also that African-American support has moved down from 61% for (30% against) to 51% for (39% against), all within the span of a single month.
Several politicians, including President Obama, have said they oppose the proposed amendment.