North Carolina Voters Pass Same-Sex Marriage Ban
By Campbell Robertson | The New York Times
As expected, North Carolinians voted in large numbers on Tuesday for an amendment that would ban same-sex marriages, partnerships and civil unions, becoming the 30th state in the country and the last in the South to include a prohibition on gay marriage in the state constitution.
About half a million people voted early, a record for a primary in the state, and turnout on Tuesday was unusually high as well. The amendment, which passed by a margin of more than 20 percentage points, was on the ballot along with other party primary races, some of which were closely contested.
The vote came after weeks of heated debate in church pews and over the airwaves. More than $3 million was spent on the rival campaigns. Ministers formed coalitions pushing for and against the measure, and cities passed resolutions condemning it. Former President Bill Clinton and the Rev. Billy Graham weighed in on opposite sides, and law professors skirmished over the consequences.
North Carolina, a religious but also relatively moderate state on social issues, already has a law banning same-sex marriage. But Republican lawmakers pushed an amendment out of concern that the law was in danger of being struck down by judges. [Read complete article at The New York Times]
Wisconsin Democrats Choose Challenger to Run Against Governor in Recall Race
By Steven Yaccino | The New York Times
MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Democrats will get a do-over election between Gov. Scott Walker and Tom Barrett when the two face off in a rare recall vote next month.
Mr. Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, got the nod from his party after a statewide primary on Tuesday, beating a fellow Democrat, Kathleen Falk, a former Dane County executive who had been seen by some as labor’s preferred candidate.
The victory sets up a rematch of Mr. Barrett’s race against Mr. Walker in 2010, when the governor won by about five percentage points as Republicans took control of the state — not just in the governor’s office but also in both chambers of the Legislature.
While much of the attention over the past year has focused on the debate over Mr. Walker, the vote on Tuesday underscored one of the steepest challenges for the governor’s opposition: namely, that Democrats have, at least until now, failed to coalesce around an alternative. They now have less than a month to make a case to voters before they go back to the polls on June 5 for the recall election.
“This race is not about the past,” Mr. Barrett said in his victory speech to a crowd of supporters in a hotel ballroom in downtown Milwaukee. “It is about the future of Wisconsin.” [Read complete article at The New York Times]