These things don't happen overnight, as the Baptist Press reports:
After years of watching their neighbor states pass constitutional amendments protecting the natural definition of marriage, North Carolinians finally will get to vote on the issue in 2012.
...All four states that border North Carolina passed constitutional marriage amendments in 2004 or 2006, but leaders in the then-Democratic-controlled North Carolina legislature blocked an amendment from even coming to a floor vote. That changed last year when Republicans took over both chambers for the first time in more than 100 years. North Carolina also is the only state in the Southeast without a marriage amendment. State polls and experience in other states, though, show the issue is far from a partisan issue and likely will get support from significant percentages in both parties. Marriage amendments have passed in Democratic-leaning states such as California, Michigan, Oregon and Wisconsin.
"It's the culmination of over 10 years of intensive work," Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, told Baptist Press. The organization supports the amendment and works with Christian organizations, including the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. "Every year that that legislation was put forward, the leaders in both chambers would not even allow it even to be heard. But when the leadership changed at the last election, we knew we had hope that we were finally going to get a hearing on it, and if we could get a hearing, that it would pass."