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By TOM BREEN
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Opponents of a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage in North Carolina say they’re optimistic about their chances in the May 8 referendum.

A crowd marched Thursday from the bell tower on the campus at North Carolina State University to the mall at the capitol for a short rally.

An estimate of the crowd’s size wasn’t immediately available from state capitol police. Organizers had hoped to attract 1,000 people.

The rally is aimed at convincing North Carolinians to vote against a proposal that would see the state constitution define marriage as between a man and a woman. North Carolina is the last state in the Southeast without such a law.

A call to Vote FOR Marriage NC, a group supporting the amendment, was not immediately returned Thursday.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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