Tea Party lawmaker opposes NC anti-gay marriage amendment

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"When asked about civil unions, which are different than marriage, she said that she finds nothing wrong with people being granted them, but at the same time, it is currently a state issue and up to the voters to decide," Doheny said.

North Carolina already has a law on the books banning same-sex marriages, but proponents of the bill say that a constitutional ban is necessary to prevent court challenges like those that have been successful in other states.

But the bill would also outlaw civil unions and possibly even domestic partnerships, drawing harsh criticism from the gay community.

Ellmers defeated seven-term Democrat incumbent Bob Etheridge narrowly in 2010, winning by fewer than 1,500 votes. Considered among the more conservative Republicans, Ellmers was endorsed in her race by former Alaska Gov. and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

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