Photographer aims to derail homophobic billAround the Nation, Bottom Highlights Thursday, April 26th, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. (CNN) – May 8, voters in North Carolina will head to the polls to vote on Amendment 1, a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would define “marriage between one man and one woman” as “the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized.”
According to same-sex marriage advocacy group Marriage Equality, North Carolina is one of 20 states that are considering whether to allow or ban same-sex relationships. Twenty-one states recognize some form of same-sex relationships, either as marriage, civil union or domestic partnership. Thirty states ban same-sex marriage by law, constitutional amendment or both.
Justin Cook, an independent photographer based in Durham, N.C. has launched Commitment NC, a documentary photo project that aims to show the faces of the families that would be affected by the passage of Amendment 1. Cook says he wanted to show the “real love and real lives” of gay and lesbian couples.
Same-sex marriage in North Carolina is already banned under existing legislation, but supporters of the amendment say it’s needed to protect the ban from “activist judges” who might overturn it.
Commitment NC participants, Kelli Evans and her partner of 17 years Karen Wade, voiced concerns about Amendment 1’s potential impact on their family – which includes 3-year-old triplets.
“It could destroy our family unit. That was one of the major reasons we wanted to be a part of (Commitment NC),” Evans said. “I think it’s very important to educate people and get them away from the gay marriage issue. If they could see that it’s a family they’re affecting, maybe they could sit down and think about the issue before they vote on Election Day.”
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