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Unlike N.C., Minnesota appears likely to reject gay marriage ban

Minnesota's politics are a good bit different from North Carolina, but both states find themselves in the presidential mix and debating familiar issues.

North Carolina voted on a constitutional ban on gay marriage in May. Minnesota votes Tuesday. But unlike here, a new poll from the Raleigh firm Public Policy Polling shows the 10,000 lakes state appears headed for narrow defeat.

Same-sex marriage opponents ask for help paying off campaign expenses

Vote for Marriage N.C. is asking supporters for $32,500 to cover final campaign expenses in its victory in the marriage amendment that voters approved in May.

Campaign finance reports show the organization raised $1.6 million and had $223,000 cash on hand, with a $100,000 outstanding loan.

Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of the group, sent out the plea for money on Thursday. Her email also lays out plans the group has to continue to be a presence in state politics.

Weekend Roundup: Fracking in North Carolina could carry extra risks

North Carolina’s flirtation with fracking is increasingly looking like the real thing, with Republican lawmakers poised to pass sweeping legislation this summer that would lead to drilling for natural gas.The state may have just a fraction of the enormous natural gas reserves found in Texas and Pennsylvania. But fracking here will likely entail greater risks to drinking water supplies and may require special measures not used in other states. Full story here.

More political headlines from the weekend:

--Columnist Rob Christensen: If you turned on your TV last week, you could have seen political ads touting Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, or tearing down Walter Dalton or Pat McCory. In recent days, Romney toured a Charlotte factory floor, and first lady Michelle Obama gave a commencement speech at a Greensboro college campus. The South Carolina GOP pledged to send in 1,000 volunteers into the state. All sides were hiring political operatives and opening offices. In a battleground state, politics is a growth business.

Clay Aiken: Obama's stance on gay marriage 'pretty much ensures' N.C. loss

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing Clay Aiken is the first "American Idol" contestant to appear as a guest on CBS's "Face the Nation." Clay, who is also a finalist on the current season of "The Celebrity Apprentice," was in-studio this morning on the Sunday morning news issues program to discuss gay marriage and the passing of North Carolina's constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Host Bob Schieffer identified Clay as "American Idol singer and activist," and his first question to Clay was if he believed President Obama's recent statement supporting gay marriage "pretty much ensures" that he's going to lose North Carolina in the presidential election.

"I don't agree that it seals it up for him," Clay responded. "I think as people in North Carolina start to look at this amendment and realize what it's doing not just for same-sex couples but for straight couples as well, they're going to reject it."

Morning Roundup: Mitt Romney visits Charlotte for second time in a month

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is making his second visit to Charlotte in less than a month as he ramps up operations in what's expected to be a battleground state this fall. Get a preview of his visit here.

More political headlines:

--The government rested its case against John Edwards on Thursday by showing a videotape of the one-time Democratic presidential hopeful telling a now infamous lie – that he was not the father of Rielle Hunter’s child. Get a recap from Day 14 here.

--Surprise. Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue and Republican legislators agree on something. House Republicans said last week they want to cap the state gas tax. Gov. Bev Perdue said Thursday she wants to do the same. The tax rate is expected to fall July 1 from 38.9 cents to about 37.7 cents, because part of the tax is tied to wholesale fuel prices and fluctuates as they do. More on the governor's budget proposal here.

Morning Roundup: Attention shifts to legislature, as election fallout continues

The attention shifts toward the legislative session starting next week and away from the election as Gov. Bev Perdue releases here budget proposal this morning. Perdue will ask legislators to spend an additional $562 million on K-12 schools and increase the state sales tax in the $20.9 billion budget.

Republican lawmakers on Wednesday made it clear they weren’t interested, setting up a rematch of last year’s budget battles between the Democratic governor and the GOP-led legislature. Get more details here.

But before Jones Street consumes the news, here's more from Tuesday's election:

--Angry and frustrated, organizers of the opposition campaign vowed to use the momentum to continue to push for legal protection. Activists in Durham and Wilson kicked off a seven-day protest across the state by sending gay couples to apply for marriage licenses. All the while, amendment opponents are refusing to accept that the 61-39 percent loss reflects how people in North Carolina feel about the issue.

--More amendment news: President Barack Obama shifts his stance on gay marriage, a day after the vote. North Carolina is ridiculed in social networking and online sites for its vote. A move to uproot the Democratic convention from Charlotte because of the amendment won't happen. And columnist Barry Saunders asks who the amendment backers will target next.

Amendment's passage draws quick rebuke online

Two online petition campaigns about North Carolina's constitutional marriage amendment are drawing thousands of supporters the day after the election.

One of them is demanding the immediate repeal of Amendment One, the name opponents gave the ballot referendum, which passed by 61 percent. (It technically wasn't numbered since there was only one amendment on the ballot.) By noon, it generated about 67,000 signatures from across the nation. The goal is 1 million.

The second effort is titled "Move the National Convention OUT of North Carolina." It asks the Democratic National Convention Committee to drop Charlotte as the site of September's party confab in protest to the amendment's passage. It has about 17,500 signatures at noon Wednesday.

Addendum: Democratic ad man Frank Eaton turned the camera on himself this morning and posts a campaign-commercial like rebuttal to the amendment's passage. Watch here.

North Carolina's marriage vote second lowest total in the South

North Carolina approved an amendment Tuesday to enshrine a ban on gay marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships in the state constitution -- a vote that received international attention.

To put it in perspective, the amendment passed 61 percent to 39 percent -- the second lowest approval rating in the South, more than Virginia's 57 percent and less than Florida's 62 percent.

Nationwide, North Carolina voters gave it a higher percentage approval than eight states but less than 22 others.

On MSNBC, Perdue says she opposes amendment -- and gay marriage?

On the day voters go to the polls to cast ballots on the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions, Gov. Bev Perdue acknowledged she opposes gay marriage.

Pressed by MSNBC's Chuck Todd, Perdue danced around the issue but eventually said he supported the state law banning gay marriage. At the same time, she said she voted against the amendment. Todd suggested her position is walking a thin line, much like President Barack Obama, who faced a day of questions Monday about his position on the issue after Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday he supports gay marriage.

Two counties say passage of amendment won't affect domestic partner benefits

On the eve of the primary election, Durham and Orange county officials said they don’t think Amendment One, if it passes Tuesday, will end their county benefits for same-sex couples.

“I would like to emphasize, however, that this is based on fresh ground,” Assistant Durham County Attorney Kathy Everett-Perry said Monday. “It hasn’t been litigated, domestic union hasn’t been defined by the courts, but our interpretation is that it should not affect what we are currently doing.”

About 70 people in the state have same-sex benefits through local governments. Read more here.

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