'Race to the Ballot' ends statewide tour in Wilmington
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WILMINGTON – Five weeks ago, Jen Jones took her first steps on her trek across the state in the Race for the Ballot campaign by the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families.
On Friday, her journey ended in Wilmington and she said it could not have been better.
"We've registered thousands of people to vote on the tour, we've gotten thousands of people to vote against and we have talked to thousands of people about the harms of Amendment One," Jones said, who serves as the communication director for Equality NC.
Jones said the amendment harms protections for all unmarried couples. The legislation states that legal marriage is only a union between one woman and one man.
"It harms women, seniors, domestic violence protections to hospital visitation rights being challenged," Jones said.
The 322-mile journey ended in a finale in downtown Wilmington where those against Amendment One gathered.
"My wife Lisa and I are believers in marriage. We got married last year and we think it's important to extend that to all people," said Tab Ballas, a Wilmington resident.
But not everyone has that same sentiment.
Vote for Marriage NC released a statement to News 14 Carolina last month stating: "Marriage as the union of one man and one woman is in the public good. It serves the interests of men and women, of children, and of society itself. The marriage amendment on the May 2012 ballot gives voters the opportunity to preserve this special and timeless tradition."
Jones says although not everyone agrees with her message, she is glad made the journey.
"The biggest surprise of this trip has been the unanimity. Either people are strongly and staunchly against amendment one or they are willing to learn more, and when they do, 100 percent of the time, they learn harms they did not know about and that has been the true success of Race to the Ballot," Jones said.