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Yes, the gay-marriage amendment has “revealed generational and urban-rural divisions,” as The News & Observer reported Sunday. But, as is so often true in North Carolina politics, the fundamental divide is over religion.
 
Note how often supporters of the amendment say or write something along the lines of one bumper sticker: “It’s in the Bible. God said it. That ends it.”
 
Not a lot of room for debate there.
 
That’s why, as The N&O noted: “The campaign supporting the amendment, Vote for Marriage, has its foundation of support in churches throughout the state.”
 
Public Policy Polling predicts the amendment will pass with 57-59 percent of the vote. That will not surprise anyone who tracks the religious beliefs of voters.
 
Back in the days when I was following polls for candidates, we would ask whether people considered themselves “fundamentalist Christians” and “evangelicals.”  I can’t recall exact numbers; I just remember our out-of-state consultants being stunned.
 
The numbers were especially high among African-American voters. And PPP’s last poll shows them favoring the amendment by 55-35.
 
If you live in a city, you might miss this. And it’s not that opponents of the amendment aren’t religious. Some surely, aren’t “churched,” but those who go to church tend toward a belief system that emphasizes fairness and tolerance. “Fundamentalists” care more about order, tradition and morality.
 
This moral conservatism runs deep in North Carolina’s political DNA. You have to understand that to understand what’s apparently about to happen.
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Carbine
# Carbine
Tuesday, May 08, 2012 12:31 PM
Today will go down in history as a dark day for North Carolina, but an even darker one for the reputation of our local churches and the Republican Party. Any thinking person must realize that it's only a matter of time before the U.S. Supreme Court gets a case that forces it to declare unconstitutional all these religious-based acts of discrimination. There is no "except for gays" clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. Once that happens, and everyone sees that the world does not in fact come to an end just because the gay couple down the street now have a piece of state-issued paper that entitles them to certain common sense accomodations, opinion will change on this issue just as it did for interracial marriage and a dozen other things that church leaders swore would be the end of us all.

The only question remaining is how churches, and the Republican Party for that matter, will ever live down the shame of what they've done today.

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