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Gay Marriage Ban Will Be On May Ballot In North Carolina

North Carolina voters will decide next year whether to adopt a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The Associated Press reports:

North Carolina voters will get to decide next May on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage after the Legislature gave final approval to the question Tuesday, despite protests that the question promoted intolerance and discrimination.

The state Senate voted 30-16 Tuesday in favor of putting the question on the statewide primary ballot — the minimum number of yes votes needed to meet the three-fifths majority for such amendments. The House approved the measure Monday with a few votes to spare.

North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast without such a prohibition in its constitution. State law already defines marriage as between a man and a woman, but amendment supporters argue that traditional marriage would be better protected against potential legal challenges by same-sex couples in six other states and the District of Columbia. Thirty states have a gay marriage ban in their constitutions.

Sen. Jim Forrester, R-Gaston, who had filed amendment bills for several years without success, finally won Tuesday after an hour of intense debate on the Senate floor. The amendment, which had been blocked for years by Democrats, won a hearing after Republicans took control of the General Assembly for the first time since 1870. Republicans voted heavily for the measure.

Read the full article via MSNBC