State News

Gay marriage opponents rally in Raleigh

Posted March 3, 2009 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated March 3, 2009 4:26 p.m. EST

— Thousands of supporters of a ban on gay marriage in North Carolina lobbied the Legislature for the second time in a week.

Capitol Police estimated between 3,00 and 4,000 people were at a rally sponsored by Christian conservative group Return America in downtown Raleigh Tuesday. A similar outdoor event attracted thousands in 2007.

North Carolina law defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. But social conservatives want specific language added to the state constitution, arguing that a voter-approved amendment banning gay marriage would push back court challenges.

Thirty states have such bans. Gay rights supporters argue the state shouldn't write discrimination into the constitution.

Religious leaders and lawmakers held a news conference last week promoting the amendment.