North Carolina's two Roman Catholic bishops joined dozens of religious leaders, conservative state lawmakers and traditional-values activists seeking an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage.
Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh and Peter Jugis of Charlotte attended a news conference at the Legislature in Raleigh on Tuesday.
Supporters say North Carolina is the only state south of Washington and east of New Mexico without such an amendment.
Parents of gay children attending said a gay-marriage ban violates their rights to equal protectiion.
Legislative leaders have blocked debate on similar bills in recent years. They said no amendment is needed because marriage is already limited in state law.