In its editorial, the New York Times places the fight to defeat the discriminatory Amendment One in the national spotlight it deserves. At its core, this is about the professional forces of craven bigotry so blinded by their hatred of gay and lesbian couples that they are willing to: 1) attempt to drive wedges between communities of color and the LGBT community, and 2) knowingly fight to pass a measure on the ballot that sweeps in its web of discrimination all sorts of families and children as collateral damage.

In their zeal, lawmakers got careless with the wording of the measure, known as Amendment One. It would constitutionally prohibit recognition not just of same-sex marriages, but of other legal arrangements like civil unions and domestic partnerships. That could harm all unmarried couples, imperiling some children’s health insurance benefits, along with child custody arrangements and safeguards against domestic violence.

The campaign against the amendment is being spearheaded by a coalition of civic, religious, business and civil rights leaders and groups. One of Amendment One’s most vocal opponents is the Rev. William Barber II, president of the state chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. Mr. Barber draws a strong link between the proposed amendment and struggles against racial unfairness, an appeal with special resonance following the publication in March of memos from the National Organization for Marriage, one the most prominent groups fighting same-sex marriage, about driving “a wedge between gays and blacks.”

Opponents of marriage equality have never been able to show any evidence that any harm is caused to heterosexual marriages by granting all American adults the right to marry as they choose — because there is no such evidence. With little more than a week to go before the May 8 contest, and early voting already under way, North Carolinians need to consider whether they really want to inflict this gratuitous bigotry on their fellow citizens and their children.