Today, voters in North Carolina will go to the polls to decide whether Amendment One–which would define marriage in the state constitution as being only between a cis man and a cis woman, and outlaw same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships–will become law. But the wife of a state senator has already been reportedly caught trying to use racial anxieties as a call to arms to support the bill.
The story started to unfold last week, when freelance journalist Chad Nance recorded the wife of state Sen. Peter Brunstetter talking to poll workers in Winston-Salem, as Pam Spaulding noted:
"Nance said he recorded a conversation with the woman, whose name is Jodie Brunstetter, on video, and that she confirmed that she used the term “Caucasian” in a discussion about the marriage amendment, but insisted that otherwise her comments had been taken out of context by other poll workers.… Nance paraphrased the remarks, as told to him by those who were present: “During the conversation, Ms. Brunstetter said her husband was the architect of Amendment 1, and one of the reasons he wrote it was to protect the Caucasian race. She said Caucasians or whites created this country. We wrote the Constitution. This is about protecting the Constitution. There already is a law on the books against same-sex marriage, but this protects the Constitution from activist judges.”
The story comes just over a month after the Human Rights Coalition unearthed an internal report from the National Organization of Marriage detailing how to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks.”
Peter Brunstetter later told Think Progress his wife “does not think like that” and had gotten flustered by someone asking her questions.“My wife is one of the sweetest, most genuine people you will ever meet,” he said. “Her convictions on the marriage amendment are spiritual in nature, not racial. The individual in question had been quite abusive and intimidating. The Amendment is not racially motivated, is quite simple and straightforward and, in fact, is widely supported in many areas of the African American community.”