- (Photo: Vote For Marriage NC)
North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment yesterday that will prohibit same-sex couples from marrying in the state.
The new legislation limits marriage to be between one man and one woman.
After 61 percent of citizens voted in favor of traditional marriage, North Carolina became the 30th state in the country and the last in the South to include a prohibition on gay marriage in the state constitution.
Reports have stated that more than half a million people choose to register their votes early, prior to polling on Tuesday, which is a record for a primary in the state. In addition, the voter turnout on Tuesday was extremely high as well as North Carolinians showed how important they considered the topic. The amendment ultimately passed by a margin of more than 20 percentage points.
Those that supported the amendment were more than pleased with the result.
"Our position that marriage is between a man and a woman is gaining support, not losing support," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage to MSNBC.
He also feels that the fight against gay marriage is beginning to pick up speed in many areas throughout the U.S.
"Earlier this week the Gallup poll showed that support for same-sex marriage is down," added Brown. "Actual vote percentages in favor of traditional marriage are rising. In 2008 in California, the Prop 8 constitutional amendment on traditional marriage passed with 52 percent of the vote."
"Then in 2009 in Maine, 53 percent of voters stood for traditional marriage and rejected same-sex marriage legislation," he continued. "In 2010, 56 percent of Iowa voters rejected three Supreme Court judges who had imposed gay marriage in that state. And now more than 60 percent of North Carolina voters have passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman."
But many opponents of the amendment have continued to push the agenda that others who believe marriage should only be defined as between one man and one woman are bigots.
"We acknowledge the right of voters to decide issues but we do not believe such an expression of bigotry should have been put to a vote by individuals who were banking on a win because of the populace's misunderstanding about sexual orientation," read a statement from the gay and lesbian advocacy group Faith in America.
The Obama administration is also disappointed with the outcome of the vote.
"The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples," said Cameron French, the North Carolina press secretary for Obama's campaign to MSNBC. "He believes the North Carolina measure singles out and discriminates against committed gay and lesbian couples, which is why he did not support it."
However, despite Obama's objections, and despite the fact those opposing the amendment raised almost twice as much money as the amendment's supporters, the amendment was overwhelmingly passed.
"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 at a victory rally in Raleigh. "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."