The North Carolina Marriage Amendment is modeled after Idaho’s, as shown below. As shown below, the North Carolina Amendment is less restrictive than Virginia’s, effectively the same as South Carolina’s and more restrictive than Tennessee’s. In my opinion, the North Carolina Amendment is the most clear and concise as compared to our surrounding States.
North Carolina the Marriage Amendment:
Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.
Idaho Amendment (2006):
A marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.
[Unlike the NC version, Idaho does not expressly protect private contracts pertaining to domestic relations between same sex adults]
Virginia Amendment (2007):
Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.
[prohibits same sex marriage, civil unions, and private contract]
South Carolina (2006):
This amendment provides that the institution of marriage in South Carolina consists only of the union between one man and one woman. No other domestic union is valid and legal. The State and its political subdivisions are prohibited from creating or recognizing any right or claim respecting any other domestic union, whatever it may be called, or from giving effect to any such right or benefit recognized in any other state or jurisdiction. However, this amendment also makes clear it does not impair rights or benefits extended by this State, or its political subdivisions not arising from other domestic unions, nor does the amendment prohibit private parties from entering into contracts or other legal instruments.
[prohibits same sex marriage and civil unions]
The historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state. Any policy or law or judicial interpretation, purporting to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one man and one woman is contrary to the public policy of this state and shall be void and unenforceable in Tennessee. If another state or foreign jurisdiction issues a license for persons to marry and if such marriage is prohibited in this state by the provisions of this section, then the marriage shall be void and unenforceable in this state.
[prohibits same sex marriage]