Lawn signs urging passage, or defeat, of Amendment One are commonly seen on North Carolina highways. Some read, “Protect Marriage: Vote for the Amendment.”
But one University of North Carolina law professor says that if voters think a “yes” vote will result in more weddings or fewer divorces, same-sex marriage amendments in other states show that isn’t necessarily the case.
Holning Lau, associate professor at UNC, analyzed marriage statistics in South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, three states that recently passed marriage amendments. In an article published in the Cardozo Law Review, Lau said he did not find that amendments in those states had a significant impact on rates of marriage or divorce for traditional couples. He also did not find any significant effects in Massachusetts, Connecticut or the District of Columbia, three places which recognize same-sex unions.
“The proponents of the amendment argue that it’s necessary to protect marriage, but what does that mean? States like Massachusetts and Connecticut that have legalized same-sex marriage have not seen any increase in divorce rates because of same-sex marriage,” Lau told Lawyers Weekly.
For more information regarding the legal issues surrounding Amendment One in North Carolina, please visit NCLW’s special in-depth Storify story on North Carolina’s Amendment One. Updated continually.