Christian evangelist Billy Graham campaigned
in support of Amendment One
Citizens of North Carolina voted overwhelmingly in favour of a constitutional amendment on Tuesday that will ban any form of same-sex marriage or union in the American state.
LGBT and marriage equality groups have acknowledged their loss in the bitterly contested fight, with 60% of voters supporting Amendment One. Around $3 million dollars were spent on marketing by both sides.
“We are thankful to God and to the people of North Carolina for joining together today to preserve marriage as the union between one man and one woman in our State Constitution,” said Tami Fitzgerald, Chairwoman of Vote For Marriage NC.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest LGBT group in the U.S., expressed disappointment in the vote but said it was a temporary setback in the fight for equality.
“The passage of Amendment One is a heartbreaking loss for families in North Carolina, but will not stop us in the march toward full equality,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
“As the country continues to move in the direction of marriage equality, our opponents have cynically interrupted the important conversations taking place which lead to increased understanding and acceptance.”
North Carolina is now the 31st American state to ban same-sex marriage. While gay marriage was already illegal in the state, the new amendment makes the ban a constitutional one by defining marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
Disturbingly, it goes further by also barring any kind of legal recognition of same-sex relationships such as civil unions or domestic partnerships.
Solmonese pointed out that despite the passing of Amendment One, support for these constitutional amendments has been dropping over the years as support for marriage equality continues to rise in the U.S., especially among younger voters.
North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis recently said the issue was generational and that the amendment would be repealed in 20 years.