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Vote Against Festival opposes Amendment One

Students will be able to “drop in and gear up” for the impending vote on N.C. Amendment One in front of Wilson Library this afternoon.

The Vote Against Festival ­— sponsored by the UNC Coalition Against Amendment One — is designed to raise awareness about the amendment and to encourage students to vote early on campus. Early voting will begin April 23 on the second floor of Rams Head Dining Hall.

Anya Kylie and Mary Tongel, both juniors, organized the festival.

“This will bring together a community of like-minded people that want to help move North Carolina into a more positive, accepting direction,” Kylie said.

A recent poll published by Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning firm based in Raleigh, found that most N.C. voters are still planning to vote for the amendment, which would ban gay marriage in the state.

Kylie said the idea for the festival originated as a way to take a more positive approach to defeating the amendment.

“Instead of focusing on the conservative oppression that the legislation is, we’re going to get excited about voting against while having a fun and exciting time,” she said.

The event will kick off at 3:30 p.m. with a march across campus. Guest speakers, poets and musical performances will begin at 4 p.m.

The entertainment line-up includes local folk band Campfires and Constellations, members of Sacrificial Poets and The Rejects. Chapel Hill Town Council member Lee Storrow and Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt could also make an appearance.

Storrow said he has high praise for the student campaign against Amendment One.

“Students at UNC have done a fantastic job getting the word out about the amendment,” he said.

“The festival is a really exciting way to kick off efforts to encourage early voting against it.”

Although pro-amendment sentiment continues to be strong among N.C. voters, Storrow said he’s hopeful the amendment will be defeated.

“With the awareness and education already done, we have shown that there are real harms for gay and lesbian families in our state,” he said.
“I hope voters on May 8 will come to see that.”

The festival is the culmination of a campus-wide effort by the coalition to increase student awareness of the amendment.

Senior Jeff DeLuca, one of the coalition’s founders, said he’s noticed a huge swell of anti-amendment sentiment recently, both on-campus and statewide.

He said he hopes people will come out to the festival to continue building positive momentum among students opposed to the amendment.

“It’s a chance for students, the state’s next generation of leadership, to take ownership of an issue right now and say where they stand,” he said.

The festival will also include a final performance of “N.C. Amendment One: The Musical!” Flash mob performances of the musical, which was written by sophomore Rachel Kaplan, have taken place on the steps of Wilson Library in the past few weeks.

The festival will last until about 7:30 p.m. There will be refreshments and tables set up with information about Amendment One and how to participate in early voting on campus.

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