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Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage introduced in North Carolina House

Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage introduced in North Carolina House

RALEIGH, N.C. — A bill aimed at establishing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was introduced in the North Carolina House of Representatives this week.

“Marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. No other relationship shall be recognized as a valid marriage by the State,” reads the proposed House amendment.

A similar amendment was introduced in the state Senate in late February that says no other “domestic legal union” will be recognized, effectively banning civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Similar amendments, whose primary proponents have been Republicans, have been kept at bay for the past seven years. The state’s legislature flipped from a Democratic to Republican majority in last November’s midterm elections.

A constitutional amendment cannot be vetoed by the governor and must gain the approval of a three-fifths majority of both chambers before proceeding to the ballot. A simple majority of voters is needed for ratification.

Both the Senate and House versions of the amendment would place the amendment on next year’s November ballot.

Opponents worry that the Senate’s version could prohibit domestic partner benefits currently offered by private sector employers, including Charlotte-based Bank of America.

Several municipalities across the state offer health and other benefits to same-sex partners of their employees, which could also be affected.

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