North Carolina


Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment


Marriage supporters across the state are continuing to speak out in favor of equality, working to overturn anti-marriage laws in North Carolina so that all same-sex couples can share in the freedom to marry.

In January 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of NC filed a federal lawsuit, Fisher-Borne v. Smith, seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples across the state of South Carolina. Read more about marriage litigation in North Carolina. In April 2013, the ACLU filed an additional case seeking immediate relief for three same-sex couples with serious medical conditions, Gerber and Berlin v. Cooper. 


On May 8, 2012, anti-gay forces in North Carolina pushed through Amendment One, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from attaining any form of legal family status. 

A number of cities and counties provide domestic partnership registries for some same-sex couples.


  • Equality NC is a statewide advocacy organization that works to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians.
  • The Campaign for Southern Equality is a national effort to assert the full humanity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in American life and to increase public support for LGBT rights. 
  • The ACLU of North Carolina is a statewide chapter of the American Civil Liberty Unions, devoted to ensuring that all North Carolinans are protected from inequality. 
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. 


 A majority (63%) of North Carolina residents say they support marriages or civil unions for same-sex couples, with 37% opposed. (Public Policy Polling, February 2013) 


According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 18,309 same-sex couples are living in North Carolina, representing 4.9 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Blog Posts Related to North Carolina

VIDEO: How couples feel the impact of anti-marriage laws on Tax Day

A new video by filmmaker Karla Murphy tracks the impact that anti-marriage laws have on gay and lesbian couples, perhaps most visibly on Tax Day, by focusing on one couple who live in North Carolina and are married.

New poll tracks increasing support for the freedom to marry in North Carolina

Today, just one day after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a new lawsuit seeking respect for three same-sex couples' marriages in North Carolina, new polling from Public Policy Polling demonstrates that support for marriage is higher than ever in the state.

ACLU files lawsuit in North Carolina seeking immediate respect for marriages

Today, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, and private lawyers filed a new federal lawsuit seeking immediate respect for the marriages of three same-sex couples with life-threatening medical conditions.

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Resources Related to North Carolina

North Carolina Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in North Carolina.

Geographic Trends Among Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey

Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".

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