On Tuesday, the North Carolina Senate followed the lead of the state House and approved a proposed state constitutional amendment defining marriage only as one man and one woman. North Carolina voters will decide whether to add the proposed amendment to the state constitution in a vote during the primary in May 2012.
North Carolina voters will join Minnesota voters in 2012 in deciding whether to add marriage definition amendments to their respective state constitutions. The Minnesota Legislature earlier this year approved a similar proposed amendment to the state constitution that would define marriage only as one man and one woman. Voters in the North Star State will decide whether to add it to the state constitution in November 2012. The Indiana Legislature also approved a marriage amendment, but it must pass the Legislature again after the 2012 election before it goes to the people for a popular vote.
Currently, 29 states have state constitutional amendments defining marriage. Additionally, Hawaii has a provision giving exclusive jurisdiction to define marriage to the state legislature. Six states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex “marriage.” Three of the states (Massachusetts, Iowa and Connecticut) had same sex marriage imposed by court decrees. In three states (Vermont, New Hampshire and New York) and the District of Columbia, elected officials voted to change the definition of marriage to include same sex couples.
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