NC Approves Amendment on Gay Marriage

By: Martha Waggoner, AP
By: Martha Waggoner, AP

Raleigh, NC (AP) - North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, becoming the latest state to effectively slam the door shut on same-sex marriages.

With most of the precincts reporting Tuesday, unofficial returns showed the amendment passing with about 61 percent of the vote to 39 percent against. North Carolina is the 30th state to adopt such a ban on gay marriage.

Tami Fitzgerald, who heads the pro-amendment group Vote FOR Marriage NC, said she believes the initiative awoke a silent majority of more active voters in the future.

"I think it sends a message to the rest of the country that marriage is between one man and one woman," Fitzgerald said at a celebration Tuesday night. "The whole point is simply that you don't rewrite the nature of God's design based on the demands of a group of adults."

In the final days before the vote, members of President Barack Obama's cabinet expressed support for gay marriage and former President Bill Clinton recorded phone messages urging voters to oppose the amendment.

Supporters of the amendment responded with marches, television ads and speeches. The Rev. Billy Graham was featured in full-page newspaper ads backing the amendment.

North Carolina law already bans gay marriage, but an amendment effectively seals the door on same-sex marriages.

The amendment also goes beyond state law by voiding other types of domestic unions from carrying legal status, which opponents warn could disrupt protection orders for unmarried couples.

The campaign manager for the group that opposed the amendment said the nation watched North Carolina on Tuesday night, wondering how the anti-forces came through.

"I am happy to say that we are stronger for it; we are better for it; our voices are louder now," said Jeremy Kennedy of Protect All NC Families. "We have courage like we never had before, and we have strength to continue on."

Supporters had run their own ad campaigns and church leaders urged Sunday congregations to vote for the amendment. The Rev. Billy Graham, who at 93 remains influential even though his last crusade was in 2005, was featured in full-page newspaper ads supporting the amendment.

Both sides spent a combined $3 million on their campaigns.

Six states - all in the Northeast except Iowa - and the District of Columbia allow same sex marriages. In addition, two other states have laws that are not yet in effect and may be subject to referendums

The North Carolina amendment was placed on the ballot after Republicans took over control of the state Legislature after the 2010 elections, a role the GOP hadn't enjoyed for 140 years.

Joe Easterling, who described 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. 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.

North Carolina is the latest presidential swing state to weigh in on gay marriage. Florida, Virginia and Ohio all have constitutional amendments against gay marriage, and Obama's election-year vagueness on gay marriage has come under fresh scrutiny.

Obama, who supports most gay rights, has stopped short of backing gay marriage. Without clarification, he's said for the past year and a half that his personal views on the matter are "evolving."

Education Secretary Arne Duncan broke ranks with the White House on Monday, stating his unequivocal support for same-sex marriage one day after Vice President Joe Biden said he is "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex married couples getting the same rights at heterosexual married couples.

One fault line that could determine the result is generational. Older voters, who tend to be more reliable voters, were expected to back the amendment.

State House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican from a Charlotte suburb, said earlier in the day that even if the amendment passed, it would be reversed as today's young adults age - within 20 years. "It's a generational issue," Tillis told a student group at North Carolina State University in March about the amendment he supports.

"Also, that amendment is against women, I believe, because also underneath the amendment, other laws are saying that people who aren't married at all, they can't file for domestic abuse cases, if they're living with their significant other. Which is wrong," Toanone said.

In North Carolina, more than 500,000 voters had cast their ballot before Tuesday, which was more than the 2008 primary when Obama and Hillary Clinton were fighting for the Democratic presidential nomination. Both sides said that bodes well for them.


Associated Press writers Allen Reed, Allen G. Breed, Emery P. Dalesio and Gary D. Robertson contributed to this report.

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  • by Tom Location: Tallahassee on May 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM
    Only 1/3 of the voters in NC went to the polls on this. Some mandate!! Just like in California, all of these stupid, paranoid laws about same-sex marriage bans will eventually be overturned. Why is the christian, right wing, conservative crowd so obsessive about the sexuality of other people? Don't they have better things to think about? Maybe they are subconsciously freaking out about their own fantasies. HA!
  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 01:10 PM
    Good. I'm glad this passed. It once again exemplifies that the christian-right really is the U.S. al-Qaida.
    • reply
      by Anon on May 9, 2012 at 03:52 PM in reply to
      No idiot. Islam MURDERS gay couples. Christians tolerate gay relationships but don't want to spend billions of taxpayers dollars to indoctrinate our children that this is the right lifestyle- which the liberals will do if this law ever passes nationally.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 10, 2012 at 01:26 AM in reply to Anon
        Yeah, trampling on the rights of minorities is real tolerant. But then that is something that the christian-right has always done.
        • reply
          by GV on May 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM in reply to
          Why do you idiots keep saying Christians are trampling on their rights?You think Christians are the only ones who oppose gay marriage?
  • by RF on May 9, 2012 at 12:13 PM
    There is no state in the US that has legalized gay marriage by popular vote, only by judicial or legislative order. If people have the opportunity to choose by voting, they overwhelmingly choose no to gay marriage. Check it out, it's true. Look at California, the most liberal state in the Union. When given the vote they chose no. The only way the gay agenda gains any ground in approving such atrocities is through bullying legislatures and judges by claiming civil rights or threatening with lawsuits, which of course is just ludicrous. While I don't approve of homosexual choices, they do have the right to do as they please but don't expect the rest of us to approve of it or give you special privileges, i.e."marriage".
  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 11:55 AM
    What two consenting adults do regarding love and commitment is really none of our business. Marriage in general is a joke. Live and let live. EQUAL RIGHTS FOR EVERYONE!
  • by Joe Location: Joes house on May 9, 2012 at 11:22 AM
    What sodomites do to each ohter is dirty, filthy, unhygenic and just plain nasty.
    • reply
      by Frances on May 9, 2012 at 01:40 PM in reply to Joe
      That really is the bottom line!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 04:08 PM in reply to Joe
      And what hets do to each other isn't?
    • reply
      by Nelson on May 10, 2012 at 06:02 AM in reply to Joe
      Hey Joe, heterosexual couples do the same things to each other. You might want to turn on the lights sometime and get out of the missionary position.
      • reply
        by GV on May 10, 2012 at 01:00 PM in reply to Nelson
        Here we go with your non sense again.You are a complete fool.Sure they can do some of the same things.That's no different than saying they can hold each other's hand's or kiss each other.They can't do everything the same,idiot,like the part that makes a woman pregnant.Kinda hard to beleive we actually have an idiot on here saying that,or then again I may be the idiot for arguing with a troll.
  • by SOUTHGA Location: Georgia on May 9, 2012 at 09:14 AM
    I don't care if this offends anyone are not but yes this country was founded by our forefathers and they also based there decisions on the Bible to. With that said in the Bible it states that a marriage is between a man and a women. NOT 2 men or 2 women!!! And yes it does speak in the Bible about divorce and the reasons for divorce. God created ADAM and EVE. NOT ADAM AND STEVE OR MADAM AND EVE.
    • reply
      by Black flag on May 9, 2012 at 01:39 PM in reply to SOUTHGA
      Actually they didn't. The founding fathers based the constitution on the social standards of the time. If you really go by the bible, do you support selling your daughter to slavery (Exodus 21:7)? You can't just pick and choose.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 01:52 PM in reply to SOUTHGA
      The word "God" does not appear in the US Constitution and neither does the word "Bible." The Constitution does not say that God created men and women, or specifically, Adam and Eve. We are talking about the state marrying people of the same sex, not a church or religious institution. Nobody says your church has to perform same sex marriages, or recognize them, either.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 04:09 PM in reply to SOUTHGA
      Can you think of anything at all to say other than cheesy overused catch phrases?
    • reply
      by ew on May 23, 2012 at 10:33 AM in reply to SOUTHGA
      OK - glad to see a state stand up to common sense. Makes me want to move to NC........
  • by anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 08:32 AM
    Who's laws? God's? Yours? Obama's?, ya mama's? I could not care less what anyone thinks of my CHOICES! I will continue to make them on my own, thanks.
  • by Anonymous Location: East leon on May 9, 2012 at 08:27 AM
    Why is it that a segment of government (REPUBLICANS)who pride themselves in saving tax payers money continue to pass indefensible laws. All this will do is cost the government millions of dollars to defend a law that WILL be overturned as it is a violation of the equal protection clause of the constitution as well as the full faith and credit clauses included in the commerce section of the constitution.
    • reply
      by GV on May 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM in reply to Anonymous
      The people of NC are the ones who voted on this law.What about Obama,do you know what his stance is on gay marriage?Is he a republican?Do you realize that 12 states ban gay marriage by statute and 30 by state constitution?How many of these states have had their laws overturned?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 02:01 PM in reply to GV
        They will be when the federal supreme court reviews the case.
        • reply
          by GV on May 10, 2012 at 06:00 AM in reply to Anonymous
          We'll see,won't we?
  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 06:43 AM
    This is by no means the wave of the future. The South is backwards. Everybody knows that. The majority of the population which has no problem with same sex marriage will only grow larger. People who are concerned about the "sacredness" of marriage should work to repeal laws which permit divorce.
    • reply
      by GV on May 9, 2012 at 07:29 AM in reply to
      Well what about california?The most liberal and diverse state in the US.The citizens still voted against gay marriage,so you can't say it's"just in the south".
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 09:32 AM in reply to GV
        No state in the South has legalized same sex marriage, whereas several states not in the South have. It's easy to see which way the wind is blowing on this issue. Prohibitions against same sex marriage don't have a bright future. Are you surprised by the outcome in North Carolina? I am not. I don't believe capital punishment has a really bright future, either. Gays have a lot more rights in lots more places than they did 10 or 20 years ago. Ultimately, gays will have full marriage rights and the right to adopt children in every state. The South is never a leader, except in college football, gun ownership, and ringworm.
        • reply
          by GV on May 9, 2012 at 12:05 PM in reply to
          Well NC is the 30th state to outlaw gay marriage by constitutional ammendment,and 12 others have outlawed it by statutes.Even the people of california VOTED against gay marriage,so yes,it's very easy to see which way the wind is blowing on this issue.Which direction do you think it's blowing?
        • reply
          by gata on May 9, 2012 at 12:12 PM in reply to
          It will only take a generation, maybe two more, to depart this world, until the majority of people are accepting of gay marriage. Of course there will always be the bigots who think otherwise, but it is just a matter of time for a change in mindset on a wider scale, to take hold.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 08:46 PM in reply to
          @GV The percentage of people nationwide okay with same sex marriage rises a percent or two each year. 20 years from now, same sex marriage will be legal everywhere in the US. You can't really believe you're going to unring the bell.
    • reply
      by anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 08:30 AM in reply to
      really? PERMIT divorce? Do you have any idea what TORMENT and ABUSE is? That's the only reasons I needed. And a little help from my little friend! HA! Permit divorce...that sounds more stupid every time I think about it. You better not ever tell me who I can and cannot be with.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 08:53 AM in reply to
      I agree, if they want to protect marriage then divorce should be completely outlawed. Further with the exception of military on deployment the married couple should be required to live in the same household for not less than 10 months out of the year. Adultery or marital relationships outside of the codified marriage will be punishable by death, as it is written in the "bible". Further the woman in a marriage is the PROPERTY of her husband and he has marital rights over her and she cannot refuse. Further if a woman talks back to a man or in any way attempts to usurp a mans authority let her be stoned to death. I am being a little sarcastic here but, if the right wing christian fundamentalists are going to wave one part of the bible in our faces saying it is "GODS LAW" then let ALL of the law be applied not just selective parts, including parts about foods, slavery, etc.
      • reply
        by mc on May 9, 2012 at 10:21 AM in reply to Anonymous
        You may know some of the Word but none of it's meaning,or context.The Scriture does say that a woman obet her husband , but it also says the a man love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave His life for her. We are not under the old law but under grace. The old law was fullfilled in Jesus life and death and resurrection. Living our beliefs are not waving them in peoples faces just standing up for what we believe.Anonymous, as an unbeliever you are living your life as you see fit and we don't think you are waving your unbelief in our faces. We know you have a choice to believe or not. We all answer for our lives in the end and on that day there will be no unbelievers.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 02:11 PM in reply to mc
          I am not an unbeliever, in fact I am a christian. The main verses used to attack homosexuals fall in the old testament including the Leviticus purity laws that were for the Jews who came out of Egypt. Gen 19- in reference to Sodom and Gomorrah, this was not an attack on homosexuality but on non-concentual rape of the stranger, Leviticus 18 and 20 are purity laws for the Jews (By the way there are ALOT of passages in this that NO christian follows), Deuteronomy 23 which is used to attack gays is actually against prostitution not consensual relationships, 1 Timothy 1 and 1 Corinthians 6 are possible mistranslated readings of the word Arsenokoitais as it is a catch all phrase for a number of vices. Romans 1 use to deride homosexuality comes from the terms phusikos ....
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 02:17 PM in reply to Anonymous
        .... and phusis which translate to Natural disposition, it refers to a persons natural state without outside influence of reprogramming or other imposed wills of other people. and the Final passage Jude 1:6-7 which some people use in ignorance is actual a comment on angels leaving their natural positions not anything to do with human activity at all.. In fact not once in all of the teachings shown by Jesus in the bible does he mention homosexuality. If this was such a big sin why is it not mentioned. In fact the main law set by Jesus was love god with all your heart and love your neighbor as thyself. Many Christians forget this simple rule that god set out.
  • by Gerry on May 9, 2012 at 06:31 AM
    amazing how two percent of the population can make so much trouble......
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 07:33 AM in reply to Gerry
      Amazing how one person can make so many stupid comments.
      • reply
        by anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 08:30 AM in reply to
        Yes, amazing. Have to consider the source...
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