Yesterday, North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment concretely defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, making it the 30th state to adopt such a ban. With 35 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, unofficial returns showed the amendment passing with about 58 percent of the vote. The ban didn't pass without a fight, as opponents and supporters of the same-sex position held marches, ran TV ads, and gave speeches. Members of President Barack Obama's cabinet expressed support for gay marriage and former President Bill Clinton even recorded phone messages urging voters to reject the amendment.
While supporters of the constitutional amendment, namely the Rev. Billy Graham, were featured rallying those to vote in favor of banning same-sex marriages, both sides combined spent $3 million on their campaigns. North Carolina law already bans gay marriage, like nine other states, but an amendment would effectively slam the door shut 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 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.