The North Carolina State House on Monday approved a measure that would make a ban on same-sex marriage part of the state constitution by a vote of 75-42.
The measure needed a three-fifths vote — or 72 votes — to pass the lower chamber. The amendment heads to the Senate, where a three-fifths vote is also necessary for passage. Observers expect the Senate to pass the measure.
If the Senate passes the amendment, it’ll head to the state ballot in 2012. A majority vote among the electorate is required to make the amendment part of the state constitution.
State law in North Carolina already prohibits same-sex marriage, but the measure would make the ban part of the state constitution. If approved by voters, the State Legislature would be unable to legalize same-sex marriage and state courts wouldn’t be able rule in favor of same-sex marriage if the statutory ban were challenged in court.
Matt Comer of GOQnotes has a report on the debate that ensued before passage of the amendment.