North Carolina legislature approves ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage

[JURIST] The North Carolina Legislature [official website] on Tuesday approved putting a constitutional amendment [SB 514, PDF] to ban same-sex marriage on a statewide ballot to be voted on in May. The Republican-controlled Senate [official website] voted 30-16 to place the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Senate voted on the measure after the House [official website] on Monday voted 75-42 to approve the proposed amendment after over three hours of debate. Voters will decide in May whether the proposed amendment will be added to the state's constitution. Although North Carolina has a statutory definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, it is the only southern state that does not have a ban on same-sex marriage. The proposed amendment would add to the constitution:

Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party f om entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.
There are 30 states [AP report] that currently have similar same-sex marriage bans as part of their state constitutions.

Same-sex marriage remains a controversial issue throughout the US. Earlier this week the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that Arizona House Bill 2013, a law rescinding health benefits for same-sex couples in the public sector, is in violation of the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. In May, the Minnesota Legislature approved [JURIST report] adding a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage to the November 2012 ballot. In April, the Indiana Senate overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage or any "substantially similar" status, and the Wyoming Senate in February approved a bill that would void in Wyoming any same-sex marriages and civil unions [JURIST reports] performed in other jurisdictions.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.