Amendment One is an issue that has unified the Salem College community. Across racial, ethnic, religious, and partisan lines, students have taken a stand against this loose and discriminatory measure. The student legislative body of Salem College voted to pass a resolution standing firmly against Amendment One, making Salem the eighth college campus in North Carolina to do so. As the co-director of the Salem College Student Activist Movement, an umbrella organization for all activist groups on campus, I believe Amendment One is not a partisan issue. Amendment One writes discrimination into our state constitution, not only undermining the principles of religious freedom and the separation of church and state, but also making members in our community live as “second-class” citizens. It is for this reason that the leadership of the Salem College Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and the Student Activist Movement have formed a coalition Against Amendment One on this campus. Together, these leaders have conducted registration drives and informed students about the harms the Amendment will have on heterosexual and homosexual couples, women and domestic violence protections, and children of single parents. –Keren Salim, Director of Salem College Student Activist Movement
Two things that are most important to my identity are my belief in the Christian faith and my activism as a young Conservative in politics, specifically in the endeavors of the Republican Party on campus, in the community, and at the local, state, and federal levels. I believe in the core ideals of this party, most importantly the ideals of limited government and the separation of Church and State. For these reasons, I stand firmly Against Amendment One. For me, it is not just an issue of the degree to which the Amendment impacts the state. It is the issue of how far the government is allowed to take its regulation of our lives. It is an issue of hypocrisy as well. As a Conservative, how can I argue for my belief in the importance of keeping the Church separate from the State and limited government intervention in business while simultaneously allowing government to unnecessarily define social institutions that are religious at their foundations? My opinion, be it positive or negative, be it the opinion of the majority or the minority, does not grant me the right to regulate someone’s lifestyle. Meanwhile, as this argument unfolds, we have an economy that is in desperate need of fixing, an unacceptable rate of unemployment, students graduating from college with mounting debt and slim to no job prospects, and an increasingly negative view of the effectiveness of government. There are more pressing, relevant matters that need our attention. –Jennifer Palmer, Chairwoman of Salem College Republicans
As a leader in the county, state, and Salem College Democrats, I believe in protecting the rights of all individuals, a belief that reflects the true purpose of a state’s constitution. As a sister and daughter, I stand firmly opposed to any measure which further restricts the rights and safety of women. If wrongly passed, an unmarried person will no longer be able to access domestic violence protections because they will not be considered to be in a “legal union,” and will also be unable to access partner benefits for the purpose of necessary health care. This is true for any unmarried couple and will disproportionately harm women, even affecting those who are currently receiving domestic violence protection. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I see this as an attack on my civil rights and another form of “otherizing” and dehumanizing myself and my peers. As a person, I am already a victim of separate but equal treatment; if this is passed, I will also be a second-class citizen as defined in the constitution. This is discrimination. –Samantha Kiley, President of Salem College Democrats
As the founder of the Young Americans for Liberty, Salem College Chapter and a representative of the Libertarian students on our campus, I am very proud to be speaking out against Amendment One. Libertarianism is predicated on the principles of individual liberty, equality under the law and voluntary association for all citizens; not just individuals held in higher regard by any particular interest group. Amendment One and similar legislation embarrasses many students on our campus because it institutionalizes discrimination. Perhaps more embarrassing is the lack of logical supporting arguments offered by the amendment’s advocates. Amendment One supporters justify the secularism of this legislation through very subjective assumptions aimed at negating the ability of homosexual couples or single parents to provide an adequate environment for raising children. If the families of heterosexual couples are provided benefits for joining together in a state-recognized “domestic union,” denying those benefits to non-traditional families (such as those that many students, including myself, have experienced) is blatantly unjust. Even if the biased interpretations of this ambiguously subjective data could be considered as a valid analysis of correlating factors affecting society, legislation like Amendment One has no place in the constitution of North Carolina, which is meant to protect every citizen’s liberties and freedoms. –Jennifer Jones, Founder of Salem College Young Americans for Liberty
Don’t wake up on May 9th wishing you had done more. Get informed, get involved, and go vote Against Amendment One.
Keren, Jennifer, Samantha, and Jennifer