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North Carolina voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage yesterday, with over 60% of the votes.
The bill, which states, “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State,” effectively bans the state from giving legal recognition to same-sex civil unions.
Under North Carolina law, gay marriage is already illegal.
North Carolina now becomes the 28th other state to have state constitutional provisions limit marriage to man-woman unions.
According to The LA Times, the measure could have even further reaching repercussions. "The measure could even deprive unmarried women of protections against domestic abuse, while restricting child custody and visitation rights for unmarried gay or straight couples."
The Times spoke with family law professors who said said the amendment would spawn years of lawsuits. "When the dust clears," they concluded, unmarried couples will "have fewer rights over their most important life decisions."
According to the 2010 Census, North Caroline has 220,000 unmarried couples. Same-sex couples account for 12 percent of that population.
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