In a hotly contested vote North Carolina has passed an amendment that defines marriage as solely between one man and one woman. And by a wide margin with 61 percent in favor of the amendment and 39 percent against.
“It is a very sad day in North Carolina,” said Tori Taylor, 23, a Charlotte resident who voted against the amendment. “There were a lot of college students, young professionals who came out to vote. We have gay friends. A lot of us are integrated to that culture. Do you think your friends should have the same rights? It’s black and white. Of course, they should.”
Less than 24 hours later opponents of the amendment have already begun exploring their options for challenging the vote. Many feel that it inherently writes discrimination into the state constitution. Others argue its vague language can harm other groups as well, not just gays and lesbians. Kathryn Bradley, a law professor at Duke explains, “It could affect unmarried couples who live together and bring them unintended consequences on issues such as child custody and the prosecution of domestic violence.”
As a nation, Americans are split down the middle on the issue of same sex marriage with just around 50 percent believing that same-sex couples should be allowed to wed, while 48 percent argue that such marriages should not be allowed legally according to a recent Gallup survey.
The past decade has been filled with debates and amendments concerning same-sex marriage throughout the United States. The Guardian put together this incredibly helpful interactive chart showing how states approach the issue of gay rights from marriage to hospital visits to adoption.