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NC amendment banning same-sex marriage in effect

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina's constitutional amendment slamming the door on same-sex marriages is now in effect. But the debates on its full meaning continue.

The State Board of Elections on Wednesday certified the results of North Carolina's May 8 primary elections, including the constitutional amendment defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman. That step means the ban is added to the state constitution, which makes it much harder for lawmakers to change in the future.

The amendment has left municipal managers wondering if cities and towns can offer benefits to the same-sex partners of their employees. Nine local governments already offer the benefits.

Charlotte's city council is asking for a legal opinion from Attorney General Roy Cooper before deciding whether to offer partner benefits.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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