North Carolina voters yesterday overwhelmingly approved Amendment One, so adding a provision to the state’s constitution to ban state recognition of same-sex marriages — and even civil unions. Winning over 60% of the vote, the measure passed in all but seven of the state’s 100 counties, failing only in the Raleigh-Durham area, Charlotte (Mecklenburg County), Asheville (Buncombe County) and Watauga County:
According to FoxNews, “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.” The church-going population of the Tarheel State seemed thus instrumental in the amendment’s passage.
At least in North Carolina, Americans still define marriage in traditional terms, as the union of one man and one woman.
Interestingly, “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.” And given that the contest for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination was more hotly contested than than for the Republican, a greater proportion of Democrats may well have showed up at the polls yesterday.
Given the high proportional of evangelicals in the state (North Carolina ranks 7th nationally in church attendance), perhaps opponents had little prayer of defeating the measure. Opponents did seem to have done a better job of reaching out beyond the traditional Democratic interest groups than did their counterparts in California four years ago (but then I write from California not having witnessed the campaign up close).
Demographics apparently worked against amendment opponents.
National opinion polls notwithstanding, while Americans have become increasingly accepting of homosexuality in our culture, all too many are not yet ready to expand the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Kristie takes issue with my title:
I wouldn’t say North Carolinians “overwhelmingly approved Amendment One” considering the fact that out of the 6,296,759 registered voters in the state of NC 4,132,865 of them did not cast a ballot at all. The measure was (unfortunately) passed by only 1,303,952 voters casting their ballots for enshrining discrimination into our state constitution, with 831,788 others casting their ballots against the amendment. I wouldn’t exactly call that an overwhelming win for the pro-amendment crowd.
What’s really a shame is that so many people in this state really had no idea what the amendment even says and what it’s potential consequences could be for not only gays and lesbians but for any unmarried couple in NC. It’s a sad state of affairs when even one of the bills sponsors said he planned to vote against it.