A constitutional amendment opposing same sex marriage is on the May 8 primary ballot and has stirred up conversation throughout the state, including Edgecombe County.
Voters will have the opportunity to vote for or against the marriage amendment which states, "Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."
Some of the supporters are attacking it because religious beliefs, while opponents are saying a change could harm children, seniors and victims of domestic violence. Both sides agree that the fine print surrounding the amendment is confusing.
Tarboro resident Rudolph Knight has already cast his vote against it.
"This thing is real tricky," Knight said. "It's already on the books that marriage should be between a man and a woman. We already know that. If it passes, it will prevent the same sex from carrying insurance and will not allow the same sex to have power of attorney. It will affect more people than the gay community."
Linda Anderson, of Tarboro, is an advocate for the amendment. She doesn't see any "trickery" and said she will likely vote according to her spiritual beliefs.
"I'm for traditional marriage between one man and one woman as God in the beginning ordained it to be," Anderson said. "I believe it with all my heart. I believe now is the time to take a stand. I say this without malice towards anyone."
The Edgecombe County Democratic Party stance is different than Anderson's.
"We are against it because it could harm our seniors, children and women," said Allen Mitchell, Edgecombe County Democratic Party chairman. "If we want to continue to protect our children, our seniors and our women we need to look at this a little harder."
Brandon Vickers, vice chairman of Edgecombe County Republican party disagrees.
"There is a lot of misinformation out about this amendment," he said. "For instance, this amendment is going to violate domestic volence laws, mess up child custody agreement, visitation rights. It has no verbiage in the amendment that is related to that in anyway. And it also in our opinion, not the case where the government is trying to get into people's bedrooms."
The Associated Press reported interest in the amendment has generated a surge in early voting that began April 19. One-stop voting surpassed the first week in the presidential primary election of 2008 between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and across the state, more than 120,000 votes have been cast so far. As of Wednesday, more than 1,500 people had voted in Edgecombe County. Early voting ends Saturday.
"It's just a bunch of political smoke to get people out to vote and put a wedge between church and state," Knight said. "If two people, of the same sex, want to get married, it's not taking any skin off someone else's back. That's between them. I don't see what they're trying to accomplish with this."