NC House OKs Vote on Gay Marriage Amendment

It will be held during Republican primary
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2011 8:56 AM CDT
NC House OKs Vote on Gay Marriage Amendment
An attendee of a rally in support of a North Carolina constitutional amendment banning gay marriage holds a sign near the Legislative Building in Raleigh, NC on Monday.   (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)

(Newser) – North Carolina took a big step toward a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage last night, when the House passed a bill that would let voters decide the matter during next May’s GOP primary. The vote was 75-42 in favor, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. Afterward, hundreds of gay marriage opponents rallied in support of the bill, which must still pass the Senate, chanting, “Let the people vote!”

Holding the vote in May, as opposed to during the November general election, was a concession to Democrats who support the ban, but don’t want it drawing more social conservatives to the poll to vote against President Obama. But the date also essentially guarantees the referendum’s passage, since it’ll be mostly Republican primary voters at the polls. The vote comes in spite of a major lobbying effort by Equality NC, and a letter from 76 North Carolina CEOs opposing the referendum. (Read more North Carolina stories.)

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