The Associated Press is reporting that North Carolina voters have approved a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
With 35 percent of precincts reporting, Amendment One passed by a 58-42 percent margin.
“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 Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “As the country continues to move in the direction of marriage equality, our opponents have cynically interrupted the important conversations taking place which lead to increased understanding and acceptance.”
Amendment One passed the same day that a Gallup poll reported that half of Americans support marriage for same-sex couples. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday announced he supports nuptials for gays and lesbians.
Vice President Joe Biden made a similar endorsement during an appearance on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. The White House continues to maintain that Biden and Duncan’s position remains consistent with President Barack Obama’s comments on the issue.
“The president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” Cameron French, spokesperson for the president’s re-election campaign in North Carolina, told Boy in Bushwick. “He believes the North Carolina measure singles out and discriminates against committed gay and lesbian couples, which is why he did not support it. President Obama has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples and is disappointed in the passage of this amendment. On a federal level, he has ended the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act and extended key benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.”