(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."