The National Organization for Marriage has committed $117,000 to support the election of Thom Tillis, currently a Republican member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, to the U.S. Senate. But even if he wins, the organization loses: It's too late for anyone to stop marriage equality in North Carolina.
Tillis was a key architect of North Carolina's gay marriage ban, Amendment One. Passed in the spring of 2012, it lasted a little more than two years before it was overturned as unconstitutional. Tillis might be able to instigate new litigation to bring the ban back, but that's not likely to go anywhere now that top state officials are unwilling to defend a marriage ban.
Public support for the ban was never particularly strong. Amendment One was passed with the lowest voter turnout, percentage-wise, of any marriage ban in the South.
In addition, Tillis' Amendment One didn't just ban marriage for same-sex couples. It banned civil unions too. That's an increasingly unpopular stance, according to polls. And even opposition to full marriage recognition for gay and lesbian couples is shrinking in North Carolina.
In fact, Tillis has repeatedly avoided the topic of marriage equality during this campaign, probably because he knows he's on the losing side of the issue. Voters will decide on Nov. 4 whether he'll be headed to the U.S. Senate.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post erroneously stated that Thom Tillis is currently running for the North Carolina State Senate. He is running for the U.S. Senate. The post has been updated accordingly.