The Rev. Billy Graham is taking a rare step into politics this weekend, urging North Carolina voters to approve the state's proposed marriage amendment.
Voters will decide on the constitutional measure next Tuesday, May 8.
Graham comments on the vote in full-page ads that will run in 14 state newspapers.
"At age 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage," he says. "The Bible is clear -- God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman."
North Carolina is the only southern state with no marriage amendment. Thirty other states have already passed marriage amendments, and Minnesota will vote on one in November.
Earlier this year Maryland and Washington state lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage. A total of eight states plus Washington, D.C., now allow it.
But opponents are working in both Maryland and Washington to put the issue on the ballot this year, hoping voters will overturn the state laws.
Ultimately, many are looking to the U.S. Supreme Court for final resolution on the issue. Many believe the current Proposition 8 case winding its way through the California court system will eventually end up at the high court.
Meanwhile, gay activists have begun to put new pressure on President Obama to throw his support behind same-sex marriage.
The president's aides noted that he has already done more for gay rights than any president before him.
But the activists and leading Democrats say if he won't endorse gay marriage this year, they'll push to make it part of the Democratic Party platform in September.