A majority of North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages Tuesday, May 8, while Jackson County opted to legalize the countywide sale of alcohol.
The amendment to North Carolina’s state constitution reads “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” The referendum has drawn national attention and impassioned controversy.
Sixty-one percent of North Carolina voters approved the amendment. Running contrary to Jackson County and the state as a whole, 55 percent of voters in Cullowhee opposed the amendment.
Same-sex marriage is already prohibited under N.C. statute 51-1.2.
Jackson County held referenda on alcohol sales, divided into four measures. With a 35 percent turnout, the majority of voters elected to permit the “on-premises” and “off-premises” sales of malt beverages and unfortified wine, the operation of ABC stores, and the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theatres, and convention centers throughout the county.
More than 2.1 million registered voters cast ballots in North Carolina. About 500,000 voted prior to Tuesday by absentee ballots or early voting, which ran April 19 through May 5.
North Carolina was one of three states that held a primary Tuesday, along with Indiana and West Virginia. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney won all three.
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich remained on the North Carolina ballot despite previously suspending their campaigns for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Prior to their withdrawals from the race, Romney had failed to win a primary in any Southern state aside from Florida.