On May 8, 2012 citizens of North Carolina cast their vote on a constitutional amendment that would make it illegal for the state to recognize any form of relationship beyond marriage between one man and one woman. With approximately 30 percent of all counties reporting, the amendment garnered the support of 61 percent of voters; just 39 percent voted against the measure. The Associated Press, CNN, The Charlotte Observer and several other media agencies have already called the election with the amendment passing.
In addition to banning marriage or civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, the amendment would also take away domestic partner benefits for unmarried people and threaten healthcare coverage for children whose parents are unmarried.
Since September, individuals and organizations on the state, local and national level having been advocating both for and against this issue. As with states preceding North Carolina’s vote, this issue has drawn a stark line between supporters and opponents of the amendment.
Prior to today, of the 29 states that have adopted constitutional bans on marriage, 20 are red states having consistently voted for voted for Republican presidential candidates. Over the years, the average percentage of voters voting for the amendments has gone down from 71 percent in 2004 to 57 percent in 2008. This trend line clearly represents the growth of public support for marriage equality.
On average, the campaigns to ban marriage equality have spent $4.5 million as compared to the campaigns opposing the efforts spending $5.3 million.