North Carolina Votes Today on Gay Marriage Ban

North Carolina voters today head to the polls to decide whether to enshrine their state's already existing ban on gay marriage in their state constitution. Lest anyone think the argument by gay marriage opponents that they're simply “protecting the definition of marriage” is relevant here, Amendment 1 also bans any recognition of civil unions or domestic partnerships.

The Amendment has the support of notably cranky sci-fi author Orson Scott Card and Rev. Billy Graham (who took out full-page ads in newspapers endorsing it). It's opposed by notables such as Miss North Carolina Hailey Best and WWE wrestler CM Punk (who got into a bit of a scrap on Twitter for telling an anti-gay tweeter to kill himself. He apologized). Also, various politicians have opinions, too.

FiveThirtyEight Pollmeister Nate Silver predicts the amendment's passage, but there are some wide swings in current poll outcomes depending on how the questions are worded, reflecting the rapid shifts in opinions taking place regarding gay marriage. If Amendment 1 passes today, it might be one of the last of its kind.

Polls close at 7:30 p.m., EST.

Elsewhere: President Barack Obama's "evolution" on gay marriage (and the seeming lack thereof) is getting more heat.

Below: Reason on why gay marriage is ultimately winning.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    Orson Scott Card needs to go away now. His Ultimate Iron Man series sucked balls.

  • ||

    Ender's Game is one of the most overrated scifi books of all time. Card needs to have gone away twenty years ago.

  • Brett L||

    OTOH he wrote Wyrms which is one of the most underrated fantasy books of all time.

  • Killazontherun||

    Ender's Game is one of the most overrated scifi books of all time.

    Just needed repeating. I really hate seeing people defend that piece of crap. If you didn't see the end coming from a mile away (it's not really a game!), you're kinda dumb.

    BTW, my jogging trail is in the book though as the protagonist and his sister in it grew up in my town.

  • Killazontherun||

    And its a really awesome set of trails around Lake Brandt. Takes me three and a half hours to do the entire cross country route.

  • ||

    Is that the Pepsi logo tattooed on his left shoulder?

    Also, thanks for preempting the "definition of marriage" crowd by showing this is motivated by bigotry, pure and simple. No civil unions or partnerships of any kind?

  • wareagle||

    nope...those go away, too. Can't defend marriage, as this act purports to do if you turn a blind eye to anything pretending to be the real stuff, no matter who is participating.

    On a different note, kudos to legislators in NY and WA for having the balls to vote on this themselves, rather than taking the coward's way out by putting it to a referendum. Meanwhile, the state's jobless rate remains at nearly 10%, gas tax is among the nation's highest, public ed is a laughing stock, but hey, at least those gayz can't get married.

  • ||

    Yeah I guess what really grinds my gears isn't so much the bigotry (though that does get to me) as the apparent assumption by all sides that this is what political resources need to be focused on at the moment, instead of...all those other things you mentioned.

  • Voros McCracken||

    "Is that the Pepsi logo tattooed on his left shoulder?"

    Yes. He likes Pepsi.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Given that the California Supreme Court disallowed a similar amendment specificall because it allowed for civil unions, you really cannot assume that that is proof of bigoted motivations. It simply is an acknowledgement of how the pro-SSM side has successfully attacked such restrictions to the use of the word "marriage".

  • Jeff D||

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  • Jeff D||

    Hey! That's not how that looked in the comment box.

  • sarcasmic||

    Whitespace is trimmed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It needs more semicolons.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    Stop being dishonest. There's no 'ban' on anything. The law simply doesn't recognize gay marriage. It doesn't prevent anyone from declaring and living the way they want.

    In other words, the government in NC shrugs at a gay marriage and says "whatever" and walks away. No further paperwork necessary.

    Which of course is what the government should say about unions, drugs, wages, prices etc etc etc.

    But then again, there are cocktail parties to go to and TV appearances. And being intellectually honest may bring back those dark memories of high school geekdom. Much better to be thought of as cool and smart! and science-y than actually consistent.

    Who's up for an appletini?

  • sarcasmic||

    Every time someone talks of "legalizing gay marriage" I ask them how many gay people are in jail for the crime of getting married.

  • ||

    This is retarded even for you. Is the thought of all those sweaty homos drawing all the blood out of your brain or something?

  • sarcasmic||

    If gay marriage is something to be legalized, then doesn't that mean it must be illegal?

  • ||

    The level to which this subject makes you utterly retarded is a flashing neon sign pointing to your closeted sexuality. You'd be a lot happier if you stopped hating yourself...and others by proxy.

    Maybe we should start calling you Tom Cruise.

  • ||

    You're right. He probably is short.

  • ||

    Probably?

  • anon||

    Sarcasmic; I didn't read the entire argument, at work, blah blah...

    It's a constitutional amendment up for vote in NC, not just merely another law.

    It seeks to establish what marriage *is* in NC and exclude everything else. As a constitutional amendment, not a mere law.

    Yeah, I voted against that shit.

  • sarcasmic||

    and exclude everything else

    Which is why I would vote against it as well.

  • ||

    Because everything illegal is OBVIOUSLY in reference to criminal law, not like anything can be illegal in regards to CIVIL LAW /sarcasm. Dumbass.

  • ||

    Yeah! NO SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR THOSE FUCKING FAGGOTS

  • wareagle||

    There's no 'ban' on anything.

    of course, there is a ban. The amendment would specifically define marriage as between one man and one woman. It would further do away with legal status for civil unions or anything not seen as marriage as the holy rollers would define it. It is so-con statism, and no more appealing than the liberal variety.

    It doesn't prevent anyone from declaring and living the way they want.

    Really. Find two or more women, take them into your home, and declare them all your legal wives. Tell us how that goes. Or declare yourself an outcast from Neptune and seek alien status. Your declaring something does not make it so.

  • SIV||

    The best thing about the NC homo marriage ban is how many reliable TEAM BLUE voters are for it.

  • ||

    The "gay marriage" argument isn't about criminality, it's about the protections and benefits conferred upon married people. Financial benefits, medical benefits, etc. By inferring that it has anything to do with the criminal code is disingenuous.

    I think the state should get the hell out of families' lives, period. Dog knows I plan never to get married. But the singling out of gays in order to say "no, you specifically may not form a family unit and get all the benefits that go along with that" is fucking ridiculous.

  • Loki||

    Of course we could just stop awarding government benefits to any kind of "officially sanctioned" family unit and just let people arrange their private lives however the hell they want.

    Barring that option, I agree that the government shouldn't discriminate against anyone regardless of what private arrangements they want to live by.

  • wareagle||

    I like the first option. Stop using the tax code as a cudgel to push behavior you think is right. Children are not tax deductions and your tax rate should not change if you are married or single.

    Of course, that requires thinking and that's hard. Much easier to stir the emotional pot by screaming about gayz. Then it becomes a question of "rights" and folks get amped up about that much faster.

  • ||

    Stop using the tax code as a cudgel to push behavior you think is right. Children are not tax deductions and your tax rate should not change if you are married or single.

    Of course this also applies to many other, if not all taxes.

  • ||

    Classic progressive tactic, calling your opponents dishonest while using dishonest arguments. You so-cons really are the flip side of the same coin.

  • Loki||

    Amendment 1 also bans any recognition of civil unions or domestic partnerships

    So does this mean that NC has never ammended their constitution before? And they choose this to get the ball rolling? Stay classy NC.

  • ||

    I think it's just the first amendment on the ballot this year.

  • Loki||

    I see. In CO ammendments are numbered in the order they're introduced going back to the beginning of the state's founding. I guess NC does things differently.

  • SugarFree||

    Apparently, NC amendments are incorporated directly into the document. So they have no "amendments" per se, just a Constitution that can be changed directly, amendments appearing as edits to the body of the text.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N.....nstitution

  • ||

    Huh. That is a very weird and interesting quirk. Now I want to read up on the history of that.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    Wareagle says: Really. Find two or more women, take them into your home, and declare them all your legal wives. Tell us how that goes. Or declare yourself an outcast from Neptune and seek alien status. Your declaring something does not make it so.

    What are you talking about? Seriously. Why do they have to be your 'legal' wives? I'm talking about living the way you want with those women. Why do you need the state to declare them your wives? You can call them and treat them as your wives and the State won't recognize it as a marriage, but they won't prevent that living arrangement. Nor will your speech be abridged: you can publicly declare these are my wives and the government will shrug and walk away.

    I thought True Libertarians wanted less government?

    Furthermore, the issue is not about gay-ness. It's about gender.

  • ||

    Furthermore, the issue is not about gay-ness.

    Of course it is.

  • sarcasmic||

    I realized that the argument is dishonest when I saw that these people reject equivalent legal status without the word.
    It's not about legal status, it's about using force of government to redefine a word.

    Not very libertarian if you ask me.

  • ||

    This amendment bans equivalent legal status too.

  • sarcasmic||

    I know. Which I why I would vote against it.

  • ||

    This bill also specifically prohibits "equivalent legal status without the word". So try again please.

  • ||

    Every argument you use gets more terrible. Why don't you just tell us what was behind the back door in the gay bar?

  • ||

    Nor will your speech be abridged: you can publicly declare these are my wives and the government will shrug and walk away.

    Not true.

  • ||

    Apparently he's never been to Utah. You announce that you have multiple wives there and you will find the government is not interested in "walking away."

  • wareagle||

    wanting less govt means that the part about the State won't recognize it as a marriage goes away. It's not the state's business who I marry so long as I am not violating anyone's rights or asking the state for money to support my lifestyle.

    And, how is the issue about gender rather than "gay-ness". Is it only lesbians who seek marriage?

  • sarcasmic||

    Apparently under current law a gay man may not marry a lesbian woman.

  • wareagle||

    having lived in Asheville, which has a fairly substantial gay community, the question is why he would ever want to. It's like the lesbians go out of their way to eliminate any hint of attractiveness. To anyone.

  • sarcasmic||

  • wareagle||

    Portia was not in Asheville. For that matter, neither was Ellen.

  • Proprietist||

    I went to school in Asheville and know quite a few attractive femmes from there.

  • ||

    Yeah I've only met like two attractive lesbians in my entire life, compared with dozens of...well, whatever the hell they are.

  • sarcasmic||

    Pat?

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is the geneger mix of the couple that is important, not whether or not anyone is homosexual.

  • IceTrey||

    Some states prohibit co-habitation of non-married adults if unrelated minor children live in the house.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Shocking! Don't they know that living with a series of "uncles" promotes healthy child development?

  • anon||

    I voted against that stupid amendment this morning. I have a terrible feeling it's going to pass though.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    So let's see....

    Government official: "All gay couples, please step forward, sign these documents. Your declaration of homosexuality will be recorded on a list forever for anyone who wants to see, and we may or may not use that information in any way we damn well please."

    True Libertarian 1: Great idea!

    TL 2: What can go wrong?

    TL 3: More government! Yay! Now we have equality! And I have a govt-sanctioned wallet-sized laminated square to prove it!

    TL 4: Any shopkeeper who doesn't carry an official Govt. Card must be banned from doing business!

    TL 5: Why stop there?! Nothing exists unless the government says it does!

  • wareagle||

    now, you're not just choking the straws, you have sent numerous men of that material ablaze. This is about a group of people in NC wanting to define marriage as they think it ought to be. Most of us are asking, why is this the business of govt in the first place?

    Your intellectual dishonesty is disservice to the term intellectual dishonesty. Marriage documents record marriages; there are no check boxes for gay or straight, though someone could comb through all the licenses to ferret out the gays. And then what? The gay people who are married will claim that are not gay?
    Besides, nothing says all gay couples seek to be married any more than all straight couples do.

    Where equality comes in is that if govt is going to bestow certain benefits on specific individual choices, precluding a certain group from making one of those choices is wrong.

  • Gladstone||

    "Reason on why gay marriage is ultimately winning."

    Hmm, how about a video on how Big Government is winning?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I am very curious (no pun intended) about what commenters think about the rights of employers, landlords, and other private parties to make their own decisions about what kind of employee benefits to offer, who gets to rent property, etc.

    You realize that the SSM movement wants to limit private choices in this respect? So spousal benefits by private companies will have to include SSM benefits? And landlords will have to rent to gay couples?

    It isn't enough to say "that's not what we meant to happen!" - the laws of cause and effect are still in operation.

  • sarcasmic||

    Freedom of association means freedom to take someone to court if they don't want to associate with you.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Of course, I should have realized this.

  • np||

    It's something I don't agree with at all. But it isn't just the SSM movement, it's really the entire large progressive movement that's trying to mandate those things, so the same applies other issues (race, religion, etc).

    Ideally, the state should get out of the way, period. Of course that means no tax credits or benefits for straight married couples either. But under present conditions same sex couples should get the same benefits and legal status. Imagine with trusts, or even just hospital visitation denied due to not being qualified as "family" by the state.

    It's unfortunate the issue with the right to associate is confused with state discrimination. But equality under the law is a basis for any liberal society (classical liberal/liberty/freedom). Heck that should apply to everything else actually, like "green" home product tax breaks vs non-green windows.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Amendment 1 specifically allows people to make and enforce contracts containing alternative definitions of marriage, including same-sex. I have yet to see an SSM bill which recognizes this right (except with narrow religious exemptions which most private parties can't invoke).

  • Proprietist||

    I'm wondering how much of Obama's waffling on gay marriage has to do with the fact that it's still very unpopular with the racial minorities he is relying on for support.

    Only 30% of African Americans and 40% of Hispanics support it. In comparison, a majority of White Catholics now support gay marriage. 70% of African Americans voted against Proposition 8 in CA. If Obama came out strong in support, would it hurt turnout/increase apathy in a tight race?

  • niobiumstudio||

    I love how they are passing this Amendment, when several companies in the Triangle (you know, the ones creating almost 1000 jobs PER DAY) say they are going to stop expanding into NC and work on scaling their NC departments back if the state starts discriminating against their employees. There is 10% unemployment here with THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of students graduating from UNC, NC State, and Duke each year in the Triangle and these companies are talking about scaling back due to the bigotry. Great way to keep VERY well educated students in the state and promote business and entrepreneurial opportunity. Sadly, when this passes my BEST neighbors are going to have to leave... Can't just enjoy their stable two-income homes (filed as single, undoubtedly generating way more income), great gardens, and generally neighborly attitudes..gotta punish them there queers!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "if the state starts discriminating against their employees"

    There's already a "discriminatory" statute.

    Forbes and Chief Executive Magazine both list the top 10 states in terms of business climate, and 8 of the 10 have marriage amendments.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The American Legislative Exchange Council (admittedly they are Koch whores) has 10 out of 10.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    From the haters at CBS:

    "Big Business Silent on NC Gay Marriage Amendment

    "...It's clear even companies that place a high value on diversity don't really have other options if they want to be in the growing, union-limited Sun Belt."

    The founder of Facebook and the Duke Energy CEO griped, but Duke Energy is corporately neutral.

    http://cbsn.ws/JvmWOr

    But the companies can always move to a gay-friendly area like Massachusetts or China.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Lest anyone think the argument by gay marriage opponents that they're simply "protecting the definition of marriage" is relevant here, Amendment 1 also bans any recognition of civil unions or domestic partnerships.

    In that case I think title of the article should have been "North Carolina Votes Today on Civil Union/Domestic Partnership ban". That'd be more accurate, argumentation about the word "ban" notwithstanding.

    But I guess it's pretty obvious that you think all people who hold some version of the "protecting the definition" viewpoint are dishonest. So you wanted to give them a nice culture war poke in the eye. Amirite?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But I guess it's pretty obvious that you think all people who hold some version of the "protecting the definition" viewpoint are dishonest.

    No. Just ignorant of the FACT that the definition of marriage and what it is has been under constant change for thousands of years and differs by culture. It has no rigid meaning or purpose, and never has. To pretend that it does is intellectual dishonesty writ large.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yet the SSM people want to rigidly define marriage as including same-sex couples as a right. That means that part of the definition of marrage can never be cahnged again. Talking about other people's "intellectual dishonesty" when you are supporting that is funny as hell.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Lest anyone think the argument by gay marriage opponents that they're simply "protecting the definition of marriage" is relevant here, Amendment 1 also bans any recognition of civil unions or domestic partnerships."

    That the California Supreme Court overturned Prop 8 specifically because it perceived the legal status of civil unions as making the restriction of the word "marriage" to heterosexual couples a nonsensical and unacceptable discrimination.

    When your side regards compromise as a weakness then do not be angry when your opponents will not compromise.

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