Karen Ocamb on how a win on NC’s Amendment 1 “could change the movement”

If you have any doubts about the importance of North Carolina’s Amendment 1, read Karen Ocamb’s excellent, in-depth article on why it matters. I’m excerpting a bit here, but the article is a must read:

The Coalition to Protect all North Carolina Families, which has been battling the horrific antigay Amendment One on the May 8 ballot, has also picked up support from North Carolina Republicans such as former Republican mayor of Charlotte, Richard Vinroot, a onetime conservative nominee for governor, and other notable Republicans in opposing Amendment One.

But something else spectacular is happening in North Carolina: the campaign has reframed the perennial antigay “kids” message and, according to prominent pollster Celinda Lake who is working with the campaign – if they can raise the money to air TV ads produced by Chad Griffin and his business partner Mark Armour – the antigay Amendment One could be stopped in North Carolina and change the LGBT movement forever. (Please go to this ACT BLUE page to contribute.)

Celinda Lake allowed her conference call comments to bloggers to be on the record. I transcribed most of them for a story for Frontiers because I think this is could well be a turning point in our political maturation and I wanted people to see the thinking that went behind it. My Frontiers story is coming out on Monday but I decided to post it early (below) to hopefully contribute to the momentum that is happening in North Carolina. Here’s an excerpt from Lake’s comments:

I mean we have been in our movement on the run on ‘kids’ for decades. And it’s time to take it back. And we can. We can in tough terrain, in a tough state, and I think we can change forever the terrain in which we’re operating – and that alone, I hope, will motivate people to give money to make sure that this campaign gets that message out.

A few months ago, when LGBT politicos considered the lay of this year’s initiative and referendum landscape, as well as the re-election of Barack Obama, the Democratic effort to retain control of the Senate and re-take the House, plus all the post-redistricting statewide and local elections – many looked at the horrendous Amendment One in North Carolina on May 8 and shrugged. It’s the South, for heaven’s sake! What chance do gays have of winning there?

A good one, longtime respected pollster Celinda Lake, who is advising the Coalition to Protect All North Carolina Families (www.protectncfamilies.org), told national LGBT bloggers and reporters recently. Why? Because the poorly written constitutional amendment that recognizes only heterosexual marriage as legal would have unintended consequences that would harm children and eliminate scores of existing, hard-fought for laws that protect unmarried people, especially woman in domestic violence situations, Lake says.

Again, read the full article. Karen really explains what is happening in NC — and why it matters.

We can win this thing. The LGBT netroots has stepped up. The Money Bomb launched this week continues to collect much-needed funds. Now, it’s time for the big donors and organizations to pony up. Pam Spaulding was on Mike Signorile’s show this week to discuss what’s happening in NC. Here’s what I tweeted while listening to that interview:

I hope she doesn’t have to create a wall of shame, too. But, Pam is playing to win this one — as is the Protect All NC Families campaign.

Every day, we see more signs that victory is possible in North Carolina. Our side needs the resources to get its message out. And, if we don’t, shame on us.


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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