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North Carolina Gay Marriage Amendment OKd By House Committee

Legislators in North Carolina have decided to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2012 that would ban same-sex marriage in the state.

The Associated Press has the report:

State lawmakers moved ahead Monday on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, something social conservatives have wanted to bring to a vote for years but gay rights activists have tried to derail.

A divided House committee approved a new proposed amendment that would imprint a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution and sent it to the floor for debate. The proposed ballot question, if approved by the Legislature meeting this week, would be on the statewide ballot for next May’s primary, rather than in November 2012 as sought in other versions.

Three-fifths of the House members ? or 72 representatives ? must vote yes twice before it can move on to the Senate.

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

Read the full article via CHRON.COM