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Amendment 1 in North Carolina Heats up National Gay Marriage Debate

North Carolina’s vote on Amendment 1 is the latest news in a week that has seen a national focus on the debate over gay marriage during election year.

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The gay marriage issue continues to heat up in the presidential race, even when the politics are local.

North Carolina is voting on Amendment 1 this week, which would give legal recognition only to marriages between a man and a woman. Polls suggest the state—where a video of a man shooting a sign against the measure with a handgun recently went viral—is likely to pass the amendment.

But debate over the state issue is set against a backdrop of fast-moving national opinions on marriage equality. A narrow majority of Americans support gay marriage in new polling, boosted by Democratic and Independent voters. The White House has been caught in a balancing act after Vice President Joe Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently made statements that seemed to contradict the president’s “evolving” position.

With a reported high number of gay Obama campaign contribution bundlers, the chorus pushing him to support marriage equality may grow. But the decision may be made by polling in the swing states the president hopes to win in 2012.   

Video produced by Paca Thomas.