Greensboro, NC -- We're less than two weeks away from the May 8th primary. By now, you've seen and heard plenty about Amendment One.
The measure, if approved, would amend our State Constitution to read: "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union recognized by the state."
It may sound simple and straight-forward, but one TV ad by the Coalition to Protect NC Families says in part, "Amendment one if it's passed could take away my protection order which could take away my protection because we were not married to each other. It would put my life in danger and it would put my daughter's life in danger."
A lot of people don't know what to think. Is the claim in this ad true? Or is it misleading?
To help us with this ad-reality check, Attorneys Rebecca Perry and Robert O'Hale joined us live Thursday on WFMY News 2 at six.
The ad says the amendment could take away protections and we wanted to know how.
Perry told us the measure could change the interpretations of who gets domestic protections.
North Carolina State Statute 50B-1 says domestic violence protection covers those who are married, dating and living together. You can read the full definition by clicking here.
We asked Perry: The amendment makes it sound like someone could argue that these personal relationships shouldn't be included because they are not the one legal definition.
Perry told us that if the only legal domestic union recognized by the state is a married man and woman, than domestic violence protection could be argued to ONLY apply to them. That would leave everyone else out. This would be done on a case by case basis and drag cases out, and cost taxpayers money as the Attorney General's office tries to defend the new wording.
There are plenty of people out there who would fall into this area. So we asked O'Hale what he would say to his clients.
O'Hale told us that if Amendment One passes, then the person would still apply for a 50(b) civil protection order; the choice of whether or not to enforce the protection order and uphold the state statute would be the judge's decision. If the protection order is contested using that defense, it would then be an appellate court's decision.
WFMY: But you think practicality will win out?
Basically, as O'Hale puts it, practicality comes into play. If they think the other person poses a legitimate threat to the other person, then they will enforce the protective order because one person intends to cause another one harm.