Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A State Constitutional Amendment in North Carolina

Today, North Carolina votes whether to ban gay marriage. Additionally, North Carolina is holding this vote on the same day as the Republican and Democratic parties. According to polls, it is likely to pass. This would be a constitutional amendment to the state constitution. There is some confusion to how likely it is to pass due to the ambiguity surrounding the questions that are being asked by the pollsters. There is some confusion by the voters as to what the amendment hopes to accomplish but the Amendment would state that marriage between one man and one woman is the only legal domestic union that will be recognized or valid. North Carolina voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election and this primary election/amendment vote will give a gauge to political scientists and analysts about how North Carolina will vote in the upcoming election.
In April of 2011, the New York Times blog “Five Thirty-eight” showed a poll that indicated that at that time 50% of people supported gay marriage and 46% of people did not support gay marriage, with a few percent that was undecided.  This was a part of a study of polls that Nate Silver and his team did that analyzed that nine major polls with only one of the polls showing that those who do not support gay marriage were still in the majority.  The rate of those who do support gay marriage have grown at an incredible rate and Silver estimated, based on those trends, that by November of 2012 those who do support gay marriage would be up to 56% of the population and 40% who do not support it. Silver cautioned that these trends might flatten or they might, in fact, reverse. 
Supporters of gay marriage still face an uphill battle.  In the 2008 election, Californian voters voted to end legalized gay marriage.  In 2009, Maine voters did the same.  The 2006 election cycle saw Arizona voters vote in favor of gay marriage but in 2008 a narrower version of the amendment to end legalized gay marriage was passed by the voters.
This is an important start to the election cycle for the United States as it might give some analysts insight into how this election year will fare.  If the Amendment is passed soundly, there is a good chance that we will say an increase on the attention of gay marriage.  There has been a decrease in attention to this, especially by those running for office because of the rising popularity in the support for gay marriage.  If there is a narrower margin of victory or even a defeat of the Amendment then we will continue to see the decreased coverage. 
Did you know? If North Carolina passes the Amendment, then there will be 10 states of the Confederacy that have passed Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage

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