GRANDSON OF NC CONSTITUTION’S PRINCIPAL DRAFTER OPPOSES AMENDMENT ONE
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Russell and Sally Robinson have been married almost 59 years. They live in Charlotte, are active in the Republican Party, and like many North Carolinians, they both strongly oppose Amendment One, a constitutional amendment that will appear on the May 8, primary ballot, which would threaten protections for all of the state’s unmarried couples and their children.
But Russell Robinson has an added incentive for ensuring the state’s founding document lives up to its original intent of protecting all North Carolinians: it was his grandfather, North Carolina Supreme Court Justice William B. Rodman, who authored the 1868 North Carolina Constitution.
Mr. Robinson, a Duke Law-educated lawyer, expressed strong disapproval of the amendment in a video released today by the Protect All NC Families, the coalition effort to educate North Carolinians about the harms of Amendment One.
DIRECT VIDEO LINK: http://bit.ly/GE4DYl
“The amendment is completely unnecessary. Same-sex marriage is now prohibited in North Carolina,” said Robinson.
Additionally, Robinson calls the amendment “poorly worded” and “absurdly broad,” criticisms that Mr. Robinson and many other legal scholars assert could lead to legal challenges in North Carolina courts for years to come.
Mr. Robinson also responds to the lesser-known and understood second sentence of the amendment, which will not appear before voters on the May 8, ballot, but will be included in the constitutional amendment if it were to pass.
The second sentence of the amendment, designed to ameliorate the broad language of the first, reads: “This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”
Nevertheless, as Mr. Robinson points out, “There are a lot of family relationships that are not defined by contract.”
Robinson also states that second the sentence mitigates few, if any, legal and contractual consequences of the amendment’s first sentence. He warns that the second sentence as a whole “could wreak havoc in family law,” where few parent-child relationships are seen as “contracts.”
“I think the amendment is very bad, and I devoutly hope this state will reject that amendment when they vote on May 8th,” said Robinson.
With today's statements, Russell Robinson joins the ranks of conservatives like Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers and legal experts all across the state who have spoken out against Amendment One based on its broad language that could result in unintended harms to hundreds of thousands of North Carolina families.
“Russell and Sally Robinson know well that constitutions are designed to broaden protections and not to take them away,” said Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for Protect All NC Families. “To the Robinsons, and so many North Carolinians on all points on the political spectrum, this constitutional amendment is an extreme act, not a conservative one, that harms children and families all across North Carolina. Their opposition stands as a strong testament to the growing momentum against Amendment One.”