With 35% of precincts reporting, the unofficial results show North Carolinians voting in favor of the measure 58% to 42%. Opponents concede at this point there’s no way they can make up the difference.
Supporters of the amendment were in the majority from the start, but saw their lead waver as marriage-equality activists got the word out. Though it’s hardly the first gay-marriage ban in the nation (it’s not even the first in North Carolina) we can’t remember such a passionate fight in a long time.
Even pro wrestler CM Punk got worked up enough to tell an Amendment One supporter to kill himself. (He later apologized.)
Ignorance played a factor in the final tally: 53% of those asked by Public Policy Polling said they supported gay marriage or civil unions, but less than half understood Amendment One would outlaw both.
The concern now is how the ban will affect spousal and family benefits for unmarried couples of all orientations, as well as protections for domestic-violence victims.
Sure, it’s easy to be disheartened—but let’s remember that the trend has always been toward equality. Young people in North Carolina voted overwhelmingly against Amendment One. We’ll leave you with a particularly touching comment posted today on the Vote No on Amendment One Facebook page:
I’m KEEPING my Vote Against One yard sign. And when I’m 80 (now 32), I will be proud to show MY grandkids what I fought for! They will likely laugh and say, “Grandma, people were against gays and equality back in your day?”
Photo: Elena Wofford