May 8th, 2012
10:09 PM ET

North Carolina passes same-sex marriage ban, CNN projects

By the CNN Wire Staff

(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."

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Filed under: Family • How we live • Politics • Relationships • Sexual orientation
Names that flout convention: Advice for Jessica Simpson's daughter
Jessica Simpson recently named her daughter Maxwell Drew -- names traditionally given to boys.
May 8th, 2012
04:43 PM ET

Names that flout convention: Advice for Jessica Simpson's daughter

Read here for an earlier story that asks what your name says about you 

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.

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Filed under: Ethnicity • Gender • Who we are
May 8th, 2012
02:05 PM ET

'Magnificent' collection faces breakup

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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Engage: Writer of HBO's 'Girls' responds to criticism
Lena Dunham (center) said ignoring criticism about lack of diversity on "Girls" would go against her beliefs.
May 8th, 2012
01:46 PM ET

Engage: Writer of HBO's 'Girls' responds to criticism

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Writer, star of HBO's 'Girls' speaks on criticism surrounding show's lack of diversity - National Public Radio

ABC News, Univision to launch 24-hour English-language news network for growing Latino viewership - Los Angeles Times

Author Toni Morrison releases new book called 'Home' - The New York Times

First Asian-American  judge confirmed to serve in the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals - San Francisco Chronicle

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Filed under: Engage
May 8th, 2012
07:58 AM ET

Roundup: North Carolina same-sex marriage vote today

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.

Referendum banning same-sex marriage in spotlight as 3 states hold primaries

White House downplays Biden's same-sex marriage remarks

Biden's support for gay marriage matches most Catholics' views

Another Obama official speaks out for same-sex marriage

Billy Graham backs North Carolina amendment to ban gay marriage

Bill Clinton chimes in on N.C. same-sex marriage ban 

Same-sex couples prepare for North Carolina marriage vote

Photos: 'Commitment’ project focuses on long-term gay couples

N.C. House vote to put constitutional same-sex marriage ban on ballot