Confusion over the marriage amendment

Is there any doubt that many North Carolinians don’t understand the marrigage amendment that is on the May primary ballot? Craig Jarvis at the News & Observer wrote an article Friday about the confusion — confusion we’ve mentioned often

Everything from what it’s called to what it would do has been disputed. Poll results released Thursday show solid support for the referendum – until the pollsters explained to the potential voters what it proposes.

It bans gay marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships.

In fact, our February poll results clearly show that North Carolinians believe the state should recognize same-sex couples either in marriage or in civil unions. But a PPP poll says likely voters support the amendment. (I address the differences in the two polls here.)  
It is a politically risky move by the Republican legislature and cuts against the trend in other states. A recent article in Politico describes how the GOP nationally is trying to distance itself from such bans.
What was once a front-and-center issue for rank-and-file Republicans — the
subject of many hotly worded House and Senate floor speeches — is virtually a dead issue, as Republicans in Congress don’t care to have gay marriage litigated in the Capitol.

Even more than that, Republican leadership has evolved, too. It has quietly worked behind the scenes to kill amendments that reaffirm opposition to same-sex unions, several sources told POLITICO.

We release new poll results on the amendment Monday.

— John Robinson

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