An expansive constitutional amendment that could bar not only gay marriage but any kind of domestic partnership or civil union in North Carolina passed overwhelmingly on Tuesday, despite opposition from President Obama and many key black and white leaders, both in the state and nationally.
The result was not a surprise, but constituted a major setback for the gay rights movement, which has seen a number of states legalize gay unions in the last several years. The provision, called “Amendment One,” passed even as Obama’s campaign in North Carolina emphasized his opposition to it and top administration officials this week, including Vice President Biden, said they supported gay unions.
Every other state in the South had already passed an anti-gay marriage amendment. But gay rights advocates thought they had a chance in North Carolina, a state Obama won in 2008 with large pockets of liberal voters. In addition to Obama, the Rev. Al Sharpton, former President Clinton and other Democratic leaders have spoken out against the amendment.
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