RALEIGH, N.C. (BP) — Roughly half of the yard signs around North Carolina supporting a proposed constitutional marriage amendment have been stolen or damaged, according to the communications director for the group promoting the amendment.
Meanwhile, a new poll shows the amendment maintaining the 14-point lead it enjoyed one week earlier. The amendment would define marriage as being between one man and one woman.
There have been reports of vandalism on both sides. Rachel Lee, the communications director for Vote FOR Marriage NC, told Baptist Press that her office gets calls or in-person visits multiple times a day from people requesting new signs, simply because their old ones are gone or destroyed.
“We have distributed tens of thousands of yard signs across the state, and about half of them are now gone due to vandalism, destruction and unlawful removal,” Lee estimated.
The blue rubber signs are attached to a metal frame and say: “On May 8th, Vote FOR the Marriage Amendment.”
In some instances, Lee said, people vandalize the signs and then post pictures on Facebook or Twitter.
“Signs are just disappearing all over the state, while the other side’s signs are remaining,” Lee said. “It’s difficult to say who is taking them. All we know is that they are being removed and destroyed.”
There also have been instances of billboards being defaced. In one part of the state, someone climbed up a pro-amendment billboard and spray painted the word “against” on the billboard so that it read — although crudely — “Vote against the Marriage Amendment.” The billboard had been paid for by a Beacon Baptist Church. In another part of the state, someone used spray paint to post the message “only God can judge” on a pro-amendment billboard.
In Hickory, N.C., the church marquee of Tabernacle Baptist Church and School was vandalized. The church had used its marquee to promote a “Marriage Sunday” for April 22. The sign said nothing about the marriage amendment, but someone spray painted “Hate Speech” on one side and “Love Not Hate” on the other.
The April 27-29 poll, by Public Policy Polling, showed the amendment ahead among likely voters, 55-41 percent. One week earlier, it was up 54-40 percent. The survey used the exact language found on the ballot.
If passed, North Carolina would become the 30th state defining marriage in a state constitution as between a man and a woman — and preventing state courts from legalizing gay “marriage,” as happened in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa. North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast without such an amendment.
Michael Foust is associate editor of Baptist Press. For more information, visit VoteForMarriageNC.com. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp). Read Glenn Stanton’s column, “Why not legalize gay marriage?” at http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=37494