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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — House Democrats say putting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the ballot would discourage job creation in North Carolina.

But several black ministers say it is immoral and contrary to the Christian faith for same-sex couples to marry.

The Democratic lawmakers and clergy members held dueling news conferences Tuesday at the Legislative Building. The marriage amendment could be before voters statewide next year if approved next week by lawmakers when they reconvene in Raleigh.

Rep. Larry Hall of Durham says such an amendment would send a bad message to businesses with gay and lesbian workers.

Later, the Rev. Patrick Wooden of Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh said he’s motivated by his religious beliefs to make clear marriage is between one man and one woman.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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