North Carolina Amendment One Answer Key

Educating Young People about the Constitution
Current Events and the
Constitution: North Carolina
Amendment One Answer Key
1) What is Amendment One?
Amendment One is a state constitutional amendment passed in North Carolina stating: “Marriage between one
man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized.”
2) Which constitutional provisions or principles have been used in support of legalizing gay marriage?
Which have been used against legalizing it? What other arguments are made on each side, and which
are most persuasive to you?
Some supporters of gay marriage argue that the Bill of Rights protects basic civil rights and that the Ninth
Amendment makes it clear that the listing of certain “rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others
retained by the people.” Some supporters as well as some opponents of gay marriage believe that the Tenth
Amendment which reserves all other powers not delegated in the Constitution to the states allows each state to
make its own decision about gay marriage. Some on both sides have called for amendments to the U.S.
Constitution. Other arguments include history, tradition, and the principle of equality. The provisions of the
Constitution used in support of gay marriage may include the Ninth Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, and
the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
3) Is the right to marry a partner of the same sex protected by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? Why
or why not?
Accept reasoned answers.
4) How has freedom of religion played a role in same-sex marriage laws by proponents and opponents?
Both proponents and opponents have used religion in defending their stance on the topic of same-sex marriage.
5) How does Amendment One in North Carolina differ from the state law that was already on their
The state law only banned same-sex marriage. Under Amendment One, the state will only recognize marriages
between one man and one woman and will not allow civil unions among any couples. Amendment One will
become part of North Carolina’s state constitution.
6) How did President Obama express his personal beliefs on the issue of gay marriage? How did
President Obama describe his views on states’ power to regulate marriage?
President Obama gave personal anecdotes about his family members, staff and friends who are in same-sex
relationships to express his beliefs. According to the New York Times, President Obama said: “Different
communities are arriving at different conclusions, at different times, and I think that’s a healthy process and a
healthy debate.” The New York Times article also speculates that political considerations affected both Obama’s
view and his method of expressing it.
7) Do you think that same-sex marriage should be a federal issue or a state one? Why?
Accept reasoned answers
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