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Gay Rulings And North Carolina Impact

There are questions about how the US Supreme Court’s rulings regarding same sex marriages might affect North Carolina’s Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex unions.

A year ago, voters passed an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.  People in Jackson County both favor and oppose gay marriage.  Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings Wednesday, even supporters of gay marriage, think it's unlikely state law will change any time soon.

Taylor Gray says,  “I think that will probably stay like that and that's really sad.  But I think they should accept it just like everywhere else.  I mean if the federal government can accept it...why can't North Carolina?”

Western Carolina University political science professor Roger Hartley says, “The immediate impact in North Carolina is going to be a lot more waiting for the couples who want recognition in the state...and probably a lot of arguments that that Defense of Marriage Act case extends to their marriages.”

He says with the Supreme Court's ruling, federal benefits will automatically go to gay couples married in the 12 states that allow same sex marriage. He says that creates big questions for North Carolina  

“If I were married in another of those 12 states… and I move to the state of North Carolina does that mean I get benefits...federal benefits or not? Could you have federal benefits in the state of North Carolina but be restricted from state benefits in the state of North Carolina?”

He says gay couples in the state might be tempted to move.   

“And that's going to be a big discussion in our state both with businesses, corporations, and the citizens of our state."  

By Rex Hodge

Follow Rex on Twitter @RexHodgeWLOS


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