The WTVI Debate on Amendment One – The lawyers square off

Public television station WTVI and the League of Women Voters put together a debate last week, which is now airing on-line, at the link below.

There were four debaters, all lawyers.  I’m one of them, the serious guy in the brown suit, whose mustache seems to grow on camera.

This was a good opportunity for some back and forth among lawyers on the legal issues, although I’m sure that all the debaters would agree that one minute opening and closing statements and a few minutes to answer legal questions was a challenge.

There were two debaters who are for the amendment.  One is attorney Tami Lawrence.  She was introduced as Executive Director of the NC Values Coalition, and Chairwoman of Vote for Marriage NC in Raleigh, which is the group leading the fight to pass the amendment.  She asked to be described as a person known for defending strong family values.

The other debater for the amendment is attorney Jordan Lawrence.  He was introduced as Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President of the Office of Strategic Initiatives for the Alliance Defense Fund, at its offices in Washington, D.C.. He has appeared in litigation in a number of states in free speech, civil rights and marriage cases.

John Wester is my co-debater against the amendment.  He is a Charlotte attorney and former President of the NC Bar Association.  He is a trial lawyer with Robinson Bradshaw and Hinson and has been active in representing indigent disabled persons. He is the Chairman of a new Mecklenburg Bar committee that is working to provide low-income individuals with access to legal representation.  He is a registered Republican.

I was introduced as a 28 year business and employment trial lawyer with McGuireWoods in its Charlotte office.  Mention was made of my pro bono work for the NC Legal Aid Society for victims of domestic violence and the fact that I am a registered unaffiliated voter.  I was not introduced as Straight But Not Narrow, but the moderator did share that I have been writing this blog, NC Amendment One Truth.

All the debaters are lawyers.  All appear to have what Ms. Fitzgerald would call traditional families.  The panel had no gay or lesbian individuals on it.

I will not try to break down the debate, or put in comments now that I wanted to make but felt constrained by the inability to do so given the time limitations.  Instead, I invite you to watch the debate, as it is.

I hope this debate helps to facilitate education on the subject of Amendment One.

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