North Carolina law already bans gay marriage, but including the ban in the constitution makes its overturning more difficult.
The approval of the amendment provoked protests from gay rights groups, as it has disrupted the significant momentum the groups were enjoying in North Carolina in recent years. The groups claim the constitutional ban represents a significant step backwards, as it even bans civil unions of gay couples.
“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 Joe Solomonese, president of the pro-gay-rights Human Rights Campaign.
North Carolina is the 29th US state to use its state constitution to ban same sex unions.
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