(CNN) - North Carolina voters have passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, CNN projects, putting a ban that already existed in state law into the state's charter.
With more than 1.5 million votes counted from Tuesday's referendum, supporters of the ban led opponents by a margin of 61% to 39%, according to figures from the State Board of Elections. Its backers prepared to celebrate by serving wedding cake to their supporters in a Raleigh ballroom.
Tami Fitzgerald, the head of Vote for Marriage NC, said she had been confident that "the people of North Carolina would rise up and vote to keep the opposition from redefining traditional marriage.
"We are not anti-gay, we are pro-marriage," she said. "And the point - the whole point - is simply that you don't rewrite the nature of God's design for marriage based on the demands of a group of adults."
Meanwhile, a spokesman for one of the groups opposing the amendment told CNN, "The numbers are not looking the way we hope they would look."
"We have been down in the polls, and this certainly is not coming as a surprise," said Paul Guequierre, of the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families. "But it is certainly not what we had hoped for."
By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
(CNN) - Raphael Larrinaga was tired of sending out job applications and not getting a response, so he decided to try a different approach.
No, he didn't embellish a job title or fabricate a master's degree on his résumé. Instead, he swapped out his Spanish first name for something with more "Americanized," something that people would expect from a guy with blond hair and blue eyes job-hunting in Utah in the 1980s.
Almost instantly, Ray Larrinaga began getting calls back, he said. Within two weeks, he accepted a job with a bank and went back to the name his Spanish-born parents had given him.
"People said I was paranoid, but I'm not exaggerating a bit," said Larrinaga, now a self-employed graphic designer. "I went from almost a zero response to my applications to over 50 percent response."
In hindsight, the resident of Bountiful, Utah, said he's a little ashamed of his ploy. Sure, he could be a chameleon and scuttle his Spanish roots if he wanted to, but visible minorities can't get rid of their accent or change the color of their skin, he said.
By Tiffany Alexander, CNN
Las Vegas (CNN) - Nathaniel Montague spent more than 50 of his 84 years chasing history, meticulously collecting rare and one-of-a-kind fragments of America's past. Slave documents. Photographs. Signatures. Recordings.
Montague - Magnificent Montague, as he's been known since his days as a pioneering radio DJ - amassed an 8,000-piece collection reflecting names from the well-known to the forgotten to those history never thought to remember. It's valued in the millions; some call it priceless. One assessment of just five of the pieces puts the total value of those treasures alone somewhere between $592,000 and $940,000.
"I shudder to even fantasize what it could go for," said appraiser Philip Merrill, who performed the assessment.
For decades Montague carted the collection of African-American artwork, artifacts and ephemera around the country with his family as he took jobs at radio stations in New York, Chicago, Oakland, and Los Angeles, and then finally to Las Vegas, where he moved 12 years ago after closing a station he built from the ground up in Palm Springs, California.
The Montague Collection was his prized possession, but because of financial woes he has lost it. It is now up for auction.
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Editor's note: Same-sex marriage continues to be a hot topic of discussion. Today, North Carolina voters will vote on Amendment One, a referendum that would make "marriage between one man and one woman as the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized." Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden stated he is "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex marriages and that all people are "entitled the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all of the civil liberties".
Here is a roundup of CNN coverage highlighting the people, perspectives and stories on this topic.