Greensboro, NC -- North Carolina's primary is less than a week away and one of the most debated items on the ballot is Amendment One.
Amendment One is the proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage.
News 2 devoted the majority of its 6 p.m. newscast on Thursday to a discussion on the amendment.
As the discussion took place, Dr. John Dinan, political science professor at Wake Forest University, watched and listened to each point.
According to Dinan, there are three big points of contention.
The first argument is that Amendment One would affect domestic violence protection in North Carolina.
Dinan said you have to look at how this has played out in other states.
According to Dinan, it has been an issue in Ohio. However, when lower courts in Ohio ruled the Ohio Marriage Amendment would affect domestic violence protection there, they were overturned.
"No other state courts have held that marriage amendments have any effect on domestic violence cases. That's probably the least likely of the potential concerns to come true," Dinan said.
The second concern is that Amendment One would threaten insurance and benefits for unmarried couples and their kids.
Dinan said this is already playing out in Michigan. He added that while the amendment would have no bearing on private sector employees, it would be a problem for government employees.
"Greensboro and other local governments that offer same sex marriage benefits, would have to do so in a different way than they do now, at the least," he said.
The third issue is that the language of Amendment One is unclear.
Dinan said the wording goes farther than a lot of other states, trying to prohibit not just same-sex marriage, but also same-sex civil unions. But that becomes a gray area.
"That's clearly a flashpoint in this issue. And there's always the possibility the courts in North Carolina would be called on to interpret that in particular fashions," said Dinan.
Dinan said since marriage amendments involve religion and faith, they drive voter turnout like few other issues do.
Next week in North Carolina, people with no intention of voting in any other election will likely head to the polls just to check "yes" or "no" for Amendment One.
Of the 30 marriage amendments already in place in the United States, only one was defeated. The Arizona Marriage Amendment was defeated in 2006. However, it was reworded and passed in 2008.
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