Looks Like Campus Y Was Breaking the Law

After I sent an inquiry (yesterday) over to UNC’s legal team regarding recent actions by the Campus Y, the Y’s website appears to have undergone a few cosmetic changes. Most notably, any reference to Amendment 1 has been scrubbed from the site. I’m still waiting on an official response from UNC’s General Counsel, but it looks like I knew what I was talking about after all. Anyone who accused me of being an awful human being/bigot/homophobe/liar for raising this issue can feel free to post an apology below.

17 comments

  1. I never called you an awful human/bigot/homophobe/liar, but I can’t help but be disappointed with this outcome. Because this, to me, seems like a blurry line given the hybrid structure of the Y (Division of Student Affairs, but widely student run). This “decision” seems like more a case of cover your @$$ more than anything else.

    But just to clarify, you are claiming that Amendment 1 is a partisan issue, correct?

      1. Not everyone sees it that way. And that doesn’t mean that civil rights issues can’t be partisan. From what I understand, passage of the Civil Rights Act was a very divisive issue.

  2. My arguments for the amendment are
    1. Same-sex couples moving in from other states will try to claim their rights here, with this new amendment, NC will be able to handle that, unlike before.
    2. It is another step to get government out of our lives. Call me radical, but I’d wish that all marriages would not be recognized by the government, because we wouldn’t be having this debate to begin with.
    3. Since many of our neighboring states have imposed similar reform to their constitutions, it would be wise to look at their reasoning for it instead of making a rejoinder of being impassive to such arguments already as intensely looked over before by many others. That’s like saying we can’t use any classical Greek ideas because they were primitive and we are advanced.
    However, I did come across the point that some against the amendment are presenting. That is that this amendment will not recognize civil unions in NC anymore, therefore it will take away the protection of children and women and men who need protection. I was wondering from where does this protection come from? Who funds it? How does the protection work? I need to know these things before I decide to agree or disagree with it.

    1. With regards to:
      1) So you are say NC should not recognize the legal documents of other states as valid in this state? That explicitly violates Article IV Section I of the Federal Constitution.
      2) Not recognizing same-sex marriage gets government very much in the lives of homosexual couples who are denied equality before the law and spousal privledges provided to other mutually consenting couples who just happen to be straight. It is therefore necessarily government activism, not roling back government.
      3) Our neighboring states are just as wrong, but they at least had the good sense not to make their amendments nearly as broad as the one before NC voters today.
      Non-gay marriage arguments against the amendment) When Ohio passed a very similarly worded amendment, several people convicted of domestic violence were set free because they were no longer considered legally married at the time of the crime. If this were to happen in NC, who knows how many women would be put back at risk? Maybe 0; maybe 100s. I’m not willing to take that chance; call me cautious. As for protecting children, if a company now sees a couple as legally together, they are obligated to provide the benefits offered to their partner and children. If this amendment passes and those couples are no longer seen as legally together, then that couple’s benefits (and the benfits extended to their children) are at risk. This applies mostly to heterosexual couples with domestic partnerships (which technically is not marriage).

  3. From what I understand, slavery and laws banning interracial marriage were divisive issues… just because one party can claim a monopoly on bigotry at a given time doesn’t negate the right of employees or agents of the state to take positions against it. If you extend that logic of partisanship, you could claim that DENR couldn’t comment negatively on the absurdity of a ballot referendum conferring personhood to trees in the state constitution just because the WeWantTreeSexNow Party supported it and had another candidate on the ballot; that seems like a stretch to me. That said, even if such a measure passed, I could only marry a female gingko.

    1. There is a law against agents of the state taking positions on political issues. You might have a philosophical objection to that, but I’m only arguing from the position of the how the law is currently written.

      1. And I’m arguing that a you conflate “political,” which pertains to a type of discourse, and “partisan,” which refers to identification with a party, person, or faction. You’re extending the identifier of “partisan” to encompass every issue that falls in the realm of “the political;” this effectively excludes agents of the state from taking a position on *any* issue about which the two dominate (or even minor) political parties have differing views. That is absolutely absurd.

      2. There are two opposing factions in this election: the pro- side and the anti- side. It doesn’t get more partisan than that.

        The law says “to secure support for or oppose any candidate, party, or issue.” Amendment One is clearly an issue.

  4. We sent the e-mail below to Marc right after he published this post. We will be meeting with him tomorrow morning with the positive intentions of engaging in important dialogue.

    Regardless, we as Co-Presidents of the UNC Campus Y are steadfast in our endorsement AGAINST Amendment One. Furthermore, the Campus Y Cabinet (composed of all of our committees’ Co-Chairs and Executive Board) endorsed the Against Amendment One coalition as an official Campus Y Campaign earlier this semester. The Campus Y is indeed a part of the Division of Student Affairs; however, we are always more importantly a student organization and thus have the rights of any student organization on this campus. Our staff members have never endorsed for or against the amendment. Our Executive Board does not receive any funds from the university or state, and our website, though hosted by UNC, is not funded by the university or the state but rather by funds culminated by our Executive Board.

    If you have any comments or concerns about the Campus Y’s endorsement against Amendment One, we would be more than happy to address them. Do not hesitate to e-mail us at campusy.unc@gmail.com. We always strive to be transparent and accessible.

    With love,

    Jagir and Mackenzie

    “Dear Marc,

    We are extending to you the opportunity to meet with us as Co-Presidents of the UNC Campus Y. Based on your post on CR Daily, we find the notion that some students do not accurately understand the Y, its funding, and its legacy of social justice unfortunately holding true.

    If you would like to visit us during our office hours before 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday at the Y, we would love to host a friendly conversation with you! If you are unable to meet in the period, we are flexible with our schedules in the coming weeks prior to graduation.

    Again, we at the Campus Y find that everyone on campus has a home in this special building. Our intention is not to isolate individuals such as yourself from the Y; rather, we strive to assert our beliefs in a manner that always aligns with our mission:

    the pursuit of social justice through the cultivation of pluralism

    If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding anything Y-related in the future, please do e-mail the Director of Campus External Relations, Layla Quran, at campusy.external@gmail.com, or you can e-mail us at campusy.unc@gmail.com.

    We look forward to hearing your response,

    Jagir and Mackenzie”

  5. I don’t think it is fair, based on your post, to call you a homophobe or a liar. But I have a difficult time giving you any praise for failing to initially conduct basic tasks to confirm your inclinations that any good-faith inquirer should perform. I hope the lesson you take is that in similar future situations, it behooves people to seek the opinion of legitimate authority than to suppose it for yourself. That goes for you and for the Y.

    I am still waiting to hear a definitive about the status of the banner vis a vis the statutes and policies of the university. As someone who’s genuinely curious, I’m really disappointed in the way this whole affair was conducted by everyone. The truth feels like it’s in the back seat.

    1. I was merely offering my interpretation of the law. I don’t think I need to go running to Campus Y or UNC Legal to get their imprimatur before offering my perspective on an issue. Additionally, there were several benefits to waiting before seeking out the legal advice of the university. I got to read differing perspectives and different interpretations that I may not have immediately considered. I believe simply presenting the legal opinion of UNC Legal in the first post would have shut down the some-what spirited debate that has occurred over the last two days. Second, simply posting my opinion was a good way to vet my interpretation before running to the lawyers. If there were any holes in my reasoning, they would be exposed and, I would not have to worry about wasting the legal team’s time with a frivolous complaint. After no one was able to present a plausible counter-argument, I decided I had enough of a case to file a complaint.

      I’m sorry that you feel that the truth has taken a back seat. I am concerned first and foremost with discovering the truth. I made every effort to source all of my facts and, I feel like the opinion aspect of each of the posts was pretty well marked off as such. Though, if you feel like something is factually untrue, I’m curious to know what that is.

  6. It’s a ballot initiative, so it’s not partisan voting. Those of us with more experience voting actually know what a ballot initiative is before we go running our mouth about it. “Divisive” and “partisan” are not, in this sense, synonyms.

    1. There are two campaigns operating in this election, the pro-amendment side and the anti-amendment side. That strikes me as pretty partisan.

  7. Marc- I’m glad you brought up this issue, and I think the Campus Y should be as well. I doubt they would like to see Amendment One being supported in violation of state law. I’m still not clear on where the Campus Y is allowed to take an overt political stand. But an amendment to the constitution is absolutely an issue covered by this law. It is a political question because it going through our political system (elections), even though many (myself included) think/know this is a fundamental right that shouldn’t be subject to majority vote.

    As for the Campus Y Presidents, if their first email to you is as you posted it, then I find that very disappointing on their part. It was condescending (“Darling Marc”) and obnoxious “#sorryweareREALLYnotsorry”. I wouldn’t care if they weren’t doing it as representatives of the Campus Y, or if they were best friends with Marc and it was just how Marc, Jagir and Mackenzie joke around (I’m guessing that isn’t the case). As representatives of the Campus Y, they should treat everyone with respect, not with sarcasm and a patronizing attitude for those that disagree on certain issues.

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