Protect All North Carolina Families built a movement against Amendment One.
In 2012 North Carolina became the 31st state to consider a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
The language on the ballot read:
“Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”
Amendment One was the first time North Carolina voiced its opinion on LGBT rights — it would spark a ballot campaign and a cultural debate across the state.
Initial public polling placed support for the amendment well above 60%. More detailed internal polling put the number even higher. Against this bleak outlook, a number of groups — from churches to non-profits to LGBT rights advocates — formed a diverse coalition devoted to defeating the amendment.
New Kind joined the Protect All North Carolina Families coalition as a strategic partner.
Our role focused on developing the right stories, symbols, and airwaves to build a community around the campaign. Our work focused on strategy, visual design, messaging, and community-building.
At the start of the campaign we were told we could win with 535,000 votes, which would require 70,000 new voters.
By the election, the campaign had 20,000 Facebook fans and over 2,000 Twitter followers who shared content at an unprecedented rate. The campaign tracked 600,000 volunteer hours, raised $2.8 million overall, and set the record for online fundraising.
We also exceeded our initial voter targets: Protect All North Carolina Families achieved 840,000 votes against the amendment in a 3-month campaign.
Ultimately, the campaign was not able to defeat Amendment One, but the community that rose up around this important issue launched a state-wide conversation over protecting the rights of minorities and at-risk population.
- We either won or tied in every single county where we had a presence.
- In Guilford and Forsyth we faced rural areas with unprecedented turnout, but in Greensboro proper we won 73 of 79 precincts.
- With the help of the NAACP, faith leaders, and others, we achieved unprecedented “against” votes from African Americans. Consider Wake County.
- In urban areas we won overwhelming, even in Republican precincts.
- In rural areas, which voted overwhelmingly in favor of the amendment, we had a number of success stories — including victory in the town of Duck where Jen Jones, Communications Director for Equality NC and a hero for Protect NC Families, led a remarkable Town Hall meeting.
Though we were unsuccessful in this campaign, we succeeded in our underlying mission: building a movement.