This week, LGBT advocates braced themselves for a blow, as both the state House of Representatives and Senate considered adding an amendment to the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriage is already illegal in the state. The constitutional amendment, however, would restrict the state's legislative body from introducing new legislation for marriage equality.
Discussion of the possible constitutional amendment would have required lawmakers to change their session rules. NC legislators were in session to discuss redistricting and election laws, but a change to the rules would have allowed debate over proposed amendments. Last night, word surfaced that the lawmakers decided against changing the rules.
That doesn't mean, however, that North Carolina is safe from a same-sex marriage ban.
Bilerico contributor Matt Comer explained further at Q Notes:
As originally planned, legislators will come back to Raleigh for special fall session in September when, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), legislators will consider constitutional amendments. In June, House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) told Asheville's Citizen-Times that the anti-LGBT amendments would "definitely be brought up in a special fall session."
North Carolina is the last remaining state in the Southeast without a constitutional amendment banning recognition of same-sex relationships. Amendments to the state constitutional must pass each chamber of the legislature by a three-fifths majority. The governor has no veto authority over amendments.
If the House and Senate do approve the amendment, it will be put to a vote on the 2012 ballot.
Equality North Carolina has additional information.
North Carolina joins Minnesota and Indiana as states facing potential anti-LGBT marriage amendments in the next year.