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On Wednesday, in separate statements, notable North Carolina Republicans Richard Vinroot and Robert Orr each expressed their opposition to Amendment One, a constitutional amendment on the May 8, 2012, North Carolina primary ballot which would ban relationship recognitions and threaten protections for the state’s unmarried couples. With their public statements, the two storied public servants join a growing list of high-profile conservatives speaking out against the constitutional amendment on the May 8, primary ballot, including leading conservative commentator John Hood, Tea Party Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, and noted Charlotte attorney and grandson of the North Carolina Constitution's principal drafter, Russell Robinson.
In an interview with The Charlotte Observer, Vinroot, the former mayor of Charlotte and Republican nominee for governor, reinforced his opposition to Amendment One in his response to comments made by amendment proponent and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg), who told North Carolina State University students this week that the amendment would likely be repealed.
“My reaction, was, ‘My gosh, the legislature wants us to put something in the Constitution that the leader of our party – the speaker of the House – doesn’t think will stand the test of time for more than a decade,’ ” Vinroot told the Observer. “I can’t imagine amending the Constitution for something he believes is that tenuous.”
Orr, a former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice, expressed his own concerns to the Observer about the necessity for Amendment One's constitutional rewrite, saying “Any provision that has to be put into the ‘miscellaneous’ section of the constitution immediately raises questions about whether it should be in the state constitution,” he said. “It’s probably not a provision that ought to be in.”