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Amendment One: North Carolina votes on gay marriage ban

Amendment One, the constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, will be voted on by North Carolina residents today.

Amendment one north carolina gay marriage ban may 8 voteEnlarge
North Carolina voters are set to cast their ballots on May 8, 2012 on Amendment One, which would define marriage as solely between a man and a woman. (Justin Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images)

North Carolina residents will cast their votes on Amendment One, which defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman, on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Political observers expect the state constitutional amendment to pass, which Gov. Bev Perdue said is "bad for business" and "hurts our brand," while appearing on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown." According to Politico, Perdue said that the vote was "our Rosa Parks moment in North Carolina because it’s about taking away civil rights."

Perdue said, "We have a very clear statue on the books that defines marriage in North Carolina as being between a man and woman, so today’s vote, though some of the extremists have labeled it as about marriage between a man and woman, it’s about civil rights," according to Politico.

Reuters noted that the vote on the amendment comes at a time when officials within the Obama administration have come out in support of legalizing gay marriage, including Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

More on GlobalPost: Reverend Billy Graham urges North Carolina to vote against gay marriage

President Barack Obama has endorsed civil unions but stopped short of supporting same-sex marriage, stating that his views on it are still "evolving."

Former President Bill Clinton recorded a call, urging North Carolinians to vote against the amendment, stating, "If it passes, it won't change North Carolina's law on marriage." He continued, "What it will change is North Carolina's ability to keep good businesses, attract new jobs and attract and keep talented entrepreneurs," according to Reuters.

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ABC News said the amendment goes further than banning same-sex marriage, which is already illegal in North Carolina. The passage of the amendment would mean the state would no longer recognize any type of legal union between non-married couples, gay or straight.

Evangelist Billy Graham took out full-page newspaper ads in support of the amendment, said the Guardian. The latest polls showed that 55 percent of voters supported the amendment while 39 percent opposed it.

The main group in favor of the bill, Vote for Marriage NC, said, "We need a constitutional amendment preserving marriage so that our religious freedom is not endangered by those who seek to make marriage a genderless institution," according to the Guardian.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120508/amendment-one-north-carolina-vote-gay-marriage-ban