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North Carolina Poll Shows Progress on Marriage Equality

North Carolina Poll Shows Progress on Marriage Equality

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lucasgrindley

The number of North Carolinians supporting marriage equality is on the rise, according to the results of an Elon University poll, which is widely referenced in the state.

At this time last year, the poll found that 28% backed marriage equality, then that number rose to 33% in November, and it has reached 36% in February. But marriage equality isn't on the ballot in May.

Voters must actually decide whether to ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships in one fell swoop via an amendment to the state constitution. The Elon poll found 54% of North Carolinians opposed to such an amendment, while 38% said they support it.

"Consistent with what we see nationally, North Carolinians are starting to warm to the idea of same-sex civil unions or partnerships," said Mileah Kromer, assistant director of the Elon University Poll. But the poll can't predict who will turn out to vote. "It will be interesting to see how this public sentiment resonates at the ballot box when the issue of same-sex marriage will be put to a vote in May."

Republican Ted Olson, the high-powered lawyer fighting California's Proposition 8 in court, is looking to North Carolina to help bolster his argument. He's reportedly heading to Greensboro, N.C., for a rally on April 1.

"I'm going to go down and do my bit," Olson told LGBT POV. "We want to win one. You heard the [Proposition 8 trial] witness talk about how the outcome [of antigay ballot measures] is always against gay and lesbian people. It would be really great if we started changing that. And maybe North Carolina is a chance."

Minnesota will be the next chance when it votes on a constitutional amendment in November. And antigay activists in Washington and Maryland are threatening to put repeals of those states' marriage equality laws on the ballot as well, similar to how Proposition 8 took away marriage rights in California.

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Lucas Grindley

Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.
Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.