On Tuesday, May 8th, North Carolinian voters came out in record numbers to a primary election in order to vote on the issue of gay marriage. Sixty one percent of the voters voted in favor of a state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and prevent law makers or judges from making it legal in the future.
The North Carolina amendment declares that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”
This is not a new thing. North Carolina would be the 30th state to vote in a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and 12 other states prohibit same-sex marriage via statute.
There is an interesting phenomenon occurring with the same sex marriage question in the United States. All of the states where a same-sex marriage ban came up as a ballot measure, the people voted to make same-sex marriage illegal. In all of the states where gay marriage is legal, the people did not vote. In states where gay marriage has been made legal, it was either done through the courts or by a law passed through the state’s legislature.
In Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa gay marriage was legalized through the courts. In Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington State, and Maryland gay marriage was legalized by passing a law through the state legislature.
A few states have some interesting history concerning gay marriage laws that supports what has occurred throughout the nation in other states– when the people are asked, the people vote for traditional marriage.
In California, after two laws to legalize gay marriage were vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger, the California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on May 15, 2008. On November 5, 2008 the people of California voted in Proposition 8 making gay marriage illegal.
In Maine, on May 6, 2009, Governor Baldacci signed a marriage equality bill. On September 11, 2009 the marriage equality law was to take effect, but was halted by a referendum on the upcoming November ballot. On November 3, 2009 same sex marriage was repealed by the voters with 53% in favor.
In Iowa on April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage. In the November 2010 election, the very next judicial retention election, three of the judges were voted out by the people. The rejected Iowa justices — Chief Justice Marsha K. Ternus, Michael J. Streit and David L. Baker — each got only about 45 percent of the vote (a highly unusual vote tally for a sitting judge). While the people in Iowa did not get to decide on their law, they clearly made their voices heard.
The truth about the gay marriage vote is that the majority of Americans will vote to support traditional marriage and even overturn laws their judges and legislatures have made.