Poll: NC voters confused about marriage amendment - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Poll: NC voters confused about marriage amendment

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A constitutional amendment seeks to ask voters if they are for or against recognizing that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union in the state of North Carolina.

A new survey released by Public Policy Polling shows the majority of pollsters are for the amendment, 58 percent, and 38 percent against.

Similar polls over recent months have produced similar results.

But the survey also found about a third of voters polled actually know what the amendment stands to accomplish.

The survey shows 28 percent of voters polled think the amendment only bans gay marriage but when told it also includes civil unions support drops.

The amendment, notably referred to as "Amendment One," would secure the state's constitutional ban on same sex marriage, but it would also prohibit recognizing domestic partnerships of heterosexual couples. (Even the name is can cause confusion. The ballot reads nothing about Amendment One.)

"Why are we putting discrimination into our constitution?" Kelly Berry with the organization Protect All NC Families asked.

Berry worries about unintended consequences that will affect more than 200,000 couples in domestic partnerships - a majority opposite sex couples. She say the amendment could strip health benefits or legal protections from unmarried same sex and heterosexual couples.

"In a way you could say it's good people are confused right now because there is plenty of time for people to get information and make up their mind," David Hains with Catholic Voice NC said.

Hains is a supporter of the constitutional amendment and disagrees that the passage of the amendment would affect existing laws in place for unmarried heterosexual couples.

A majority, 51 percent, of voters polled supports some kind of right for same sex couples.

The survey polled 1,191 likely primary voters in an automated phone poll between March 23 and March 25.

Voters have about 6 weeks between now and election day for people to make up their minds.

During that time, Berry says her group will be out in the public voicing concern about the amendment. Hains' group is crafting messages defending the church's view between now and May 8.

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