Several thousand people rallied Tuesday in
Raleigh to urge lawmakers to let them to vote on a constitutional
amendment banning same-sex marriage.
The rally was organized by a group called Return America. State
Capitol Police estimated the rally's attendance around
Supporters said citizens shouldn't be denied a chance to vote to
change the North Carolina Constitution to allow marriage only
between a man and a woman.
Democratic leaders say no changes in state law are needed and
that more important issues should take precedence.
Current state law says that a valid marriage is one "created by
the consent of a male and female person." A 1996 law also states
that North Carolina doesn't recognize gay marriages performed in
But supporters of an amendment fear that same-sex couples who
have received marriage licenses elsewhere could try to force North
Carolina in court to recognize their partnerships, or that a judge
could find the statute unconstitutional.