Republican leaders in the North Carolina House of Representatives are pushing to put a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage on the 2012 ballot.
The amendment would help protect the state's current law, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, from being changed or challenged in court. The amendment will not affect whether private companies choose to recognize same-sex unions.
The Raleigh News & Observer reports House Speaker Pro Tem Dale Folwell and House Majority Leader Paul "Skip" Stam are among the amendment's supporters.
Stam said the amendment would protect "the children of the next generation" and suggested that the legalization of same-sex marriage would ultimately lead to polygamy.
"In countries around the world where they have legitimized same-sex marriage, marriage itself is de-legitimized," Stam told reporters at a news conference. "About a fourth of the world allows polygamy. Polygamy would be next."
Stam also likened same-sex marriage to incest, according to On Top.
"What I'm saying is, you cannot construct an argument for same sex-marriage that would not also justify philosophically the legalization of polygamy and adult incest," Stam said.
Passage of the bill would make North Carolina the second state to vote on gay marriage next fall. Minnesota will also vote on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the November 2012 elections.