A state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman will appear on North Carolina’s primary ballot in May 2012 after the state Senate OK’ed the amendment a short time ago. If voters approve the amendment by a simple majority, it will be incorporated into the constitution.
North Carolina is the lone state in the Southeast without a marriage amendment. Minnesota is the only other state that, for sure, will have an amendment on the ballot next year. An amendment also is pending in Indiana and could appear on that state’s ballot.
An interesting political drama unfolded during the debate in the Tar Heel State, above and beyond the usual over-the-top rhetoric comparing a same-sex marriage ban to the holocaust. Moderate-leaning Democrats in the N.C. House reportedly requested that the ballot question appear in the May primary rather than the November General Election out of fear that greater turnout among conservatives would hurt Democratic candidates.
I’m sure President Obama’s re-election effort factored in. Having such an important social issue down ballot from the presidential race, in a battleground state like North Carolina, obviously is not a coveted scenario for Democrats.