Voters in North Carolina on Tuesday approved Amendment One, a fiercely debated and highly restrictive amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman.

The amendment not only outlaws same-sex marriage — already illegal in the state — but bans civil unions and domestic partnerships for gay or straight couples. Family law experts say it will threaten domestic partnership health benefits for local government workers and strip unmarried couples, both gay and straight, of their rights to make financial or emergency medical decisions for an incapacitated partner.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL STORY