North Carolina voters Tuesday approved a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution which would limit marriage to traditional one man-one woman marriages.
The amendment says: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” In effect, it would bar the state from giving legal recognition to civil unions between same-sex couples.
Gerry Broome / AP
Signs in support of and against the Constitutional Marriage Amendment greet voters May 8 at a polling location at Leesville Road Middle School in Raleigh, N.C.
Under North Carolina law, same-sex marriages are already banned.
And opponents of the constitutional amendment did not make the argument that defeating it was a prelude to changing the law so that same-sex couples could legally marry in North Carolina.
“This is not a conversation about a possible change of law down the road,” said Paul Guequierre, a spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect All North Carolina Families, the main group rallying opposition to the amendment, on Monday.
By approving the amendment, North Carolina joins 28 other states that have state constitutional provisions limit marriage to man-woman unions.
On Monday Peter Sprigg, the senior fellow for policy studies at the conservative Family Research Council in Washington said, “Marriage remains an essential social institution which unites men and women to provide for the reproduction of the human race and to provide mothers and fathers for children. We trust that the voters of North Carolina will recognize and protect this vital public purpose of marriage."
But President Barack Obama had opposed the amendment. "While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples," Cameron French, Obama's North Carolina campaign spokesman, said in March.
A Gallup Poll released Tuesday showed the American people split on the same-sex marriage question: 50 percent think marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid, but 48 percent think they should not be recognized as legal. Among Democrats, 65 percent say same-sex marriages should be recognized by the law as valid, but among only about one in five Republicans hold that view. Among independents, 57 percent think sex marriages should be legally recognized.
Thirty-eight states have prohibitions of same-sex marriage in their laws. Six states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriages.