A Wilmington Church sign calling for the defense of traditional marriage in North Carolina that was stationed in front of a polling location is causing controversy among some, who are saying it influenced and swayed voters on North Carolina's marriage amendment.
The amendment in question, which passed by a majority citizen vote of 61 percent earlier this week, clarified that the bounds of legalized traditional marriage are between one man and one woman, making NC the 30th state in the country to include a prohibition on gay marriage in the state constitution.
The sign placed outside Devon Park United Methodist Church in Wilmington, or precinct W28, petitioned that exact argument. "A true marriage is male and female and God," the sign reads right above a "Vote Here" sign that showed people where to go to fill in their ballots.
Although the amendment was actually voted down in that particular precinct, some of the Democratic voters said they believed it was unfairly influencing people's decisions. Nancy Ballard Cox, the W28 precinct chair for the Democratic Party, called the Methodist sign "voter intimidation."
"Surely we can find another place that would be a little more welcoming than that church," she added.
Others, like Deborah Dicks Maxwell, the president of the New Hanover County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that "while it may be legal, it's not ethical."
New Hanover County elections director Marvin McFadyen explained to Star News Online that the church sign was entirely legal, and the only thing authorities can block is electioneering at a private facility.
"The only thing we can apply here is election law," Marvin explained, citing that he had received calls from concerned voters who did not think the sign should be placed right next to the voting booth.
Although the voting is over and the amendment has passed, the elections board in the precinct may discuss the church sign for future ballots.
"I think that the board needs to discuss it," said Geneva Reid, a member of the elections board.
A call by The Christian Post to Devon Park United Methodist Church was not immediately returned.