Amendment One: North Carolina Gay Marriage Ban Passes

North Carolina voters approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday.

North Carolina overwhelmingly voted Tuesday in favor of a state constitutional amendment claiming that the only legal union recognized by the state is marriage between one man and one woman. Photo: Jennifer Brunner/Flickr

The move has made North Carolina the 30th state to adopt a ban on gay marriage. The amendment means civil unions and potentially other types of domestic partnerships will no longer be recognized legally by the state.

Joe Easterling, who stated himself as a devout Christian, voted for the amendment at a polling place in Wake Forest. “I know that some people may argue that the Bible may not necessarily be applicable, or it should not be applicable, on such policy matters. But even looking at nature itself, procreation is impossible without a man and a woman.”

He went on: “And because of those things, I think it is important that the state of North Carolina’s laws are compatible with the laws of nature but, more importantly, with the laws of God.”

Linda Toanone, who voted against the amendment, said people are born gay and it is not their choice. “We think everybody should have the same rights as everyone else. If you’re gay, lesbian, straight — whatever,” she said.

“Your efforts send a message to the state of North Carolina and to the country that we will not allow marriage to be redefined in this state,” Tami Fitzgerald, chair of Vote for Marriage NC, told supporters gathered in Raleigh. “The nation is watching North Carolina, and we have given them a high standard to follow.”

By the way, other states are to vote on gay marriage later this year. This fall Minnesota voters will cast ballots on a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between one man and one woman.

Washington state voters are also expected to consider a gay marriage ban while Maine in November will vote on whether to approve same-sex marriage, reports Politico. Six states — all in the Northeast except Iowa — and the District of Columbia allow same sex marriages.

The vote came after weeks of debate in church pews and over the airwaves. The data claim that more than $3 million was spent on the rival campaigns. Ministers formed coalitions pushing for and against the measure, and cities passed resolutions condemning it.

While public opinion is spreading all over the country and same-sex marriage topic continues to achieve legal recognition state by state. Polls in North Carolina before the vote showed a narrowing but comfortable margin for passage.

“We are not anti-gay — we are pro-marriage,” Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of the executive committee for the pro-amendment Vote for Marriage NC, said. “And the point, the whole point is simply that you don’t rewrite the nature of God’s design for marriage based on the demands of a group of adults.”

However, opponents had raised almost twice as much money as the amendment’s supporters and had a robust network of volunteers and get-out-the-vote workers, writes The New York Times.

“We know that we pushed the needle forward,” Jeremy Kennedy, the campaign manager for the Coalition to Protect All NC families, a group that fought the amendment, said after the vote. “This is just a skirmish, a battle in the war that we will win. We gave everything we had.”

The North Carolina amendment claims that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

The state’s Rep. Brad Miller, a Democrat, said the constitutional amendment goes “well beyond” just establishing marriage as between one man and one woman.

“If you’re in a hospital, in your last illness and you’ve been with a partner for 30 years, if the law is that only certain family members may visit you — you can’t pick who your family members are,” Miller said in an interview. “You can’t pick who your family is. The government has decided for you.”

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