By GARY D. ROBERTSON
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in North Carolina are encouraged by developments at the General Assembly, whose Republican leaders are open to the question after Democrats blocked it for years.
Thousands of people who want the amendment on the statewide ballot rallied Tuesday on the mall behind the Legislative Building. North Carolina is the only Southeastern state that hasn't approved an amendment restricting marriage to one man and one woman.
The rally attracted conservative Christians who listened to speakers urging them to make their voices heard in Raleigh.
Earlier Tuesday, faith leaders explained their opposition to the amendment in a separate news conference. The Rev. T. Anthony Spearman is the pastor of a Hickory church. He says the legislation would discriminate against gays and lesbians.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)