On its face, the amendment proposal North Carolina voters are being presented with on May 8 is a simple one.

It reads a "constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."

But those 27 words are dividing North Carolina neighbors from one end of the state to the other. Two families – one traditional, one non-traditional – said if people could see inside their home, they would vote with them on May 8.

The Yancey family lives in Raleigh. They are, by their own definition, a family of faith.

A mom, dad, and three kids, who make religion an integral part of their lives, and make communication with each other a top priority.

The communication these days includes talks about the marriage amendment proposal.

“My family and I live by faith and we believe the Bible says and God set it up as one man and one woman and this amendment defines that,” said Vic Yancey, “and putting it in the constitution protects that sanctity of marriage that God set up so many years ago.”

The Yanceys will be voting for the marriage amendment on May 8, and said they believe this vote will protect marriage as they want it defined.

“We are not trying to take any rights away from people to live the way they want to live, but we are trying to keep that a sacred thing that we believe it is,” said Holly Yancey.

A little more than an hour away in Greensboro, Megan Parker and Shana Carignan are sharing their lives as a lesbian couple with a son, Jax.

Megan and Shana had a commitment ceremony two years ago around the same time Jax came into their lives.

Jax is a special-needs kid, non-verbal, but who has a smile that can brighten any room. His parents said if the marriage amendment is not defeated. They believe his future could be in jeopardy.

“I think everybody strives for a sense of normalcy and that’s all we want, for people to see us as a family,” said Shana Carignan, “maybe a little non-traditional and that’s OK. But just because he is not our biological son, nor am I considered an adoptive parent – Megan is – I do not have any rights to him.”

For this family, they are hoping the amendment is defeated, which they said would be a step in the right direction for the state.

“It means that we can breath a little easier, knowing that the state we live in, that I love so much is not discriminating against the family that I love so much,” said Megan Parker.

The issue of whether or not to put a proposal on the ballot that would let voters have a say in whether or not to change North Carolina’s constitution has been discussed for years.

In September 2011, the newly Republican-controlled General Assembly approved the ballot measure, but not without some dissension, including from the only openly gay member of the state House.

“You see that flag up there, it stands for freedom and no matter how much power you think you may have, you won’t take that away,” said Rep. Marcus Brandon.

Since this proposal originally came before the General Assembly, the people of North Carolina have worked to make sure that their voices are heard. You can frequently see rallies like this one across the state as those who support and oppose the amendment make sure they get their supporters out to the polls on May 8.

These rallies range in size from large to small, but the messages remain clear, as the divide between the supporters and opponents becomes more clear. And that divide is not necessarily down party lines.

It took both Republicans and Democrats voting for the amendment for it to get the necessary three-fifths votes that is needed to pass out of the General Assembly and appear on the ballot.

For their part, Republican leaders have stayed in locked step on this issue, all continuing to give their support.

But the House’s top Republican took many off-guard when he said he believes even if it passed, it could be overturned in 20 years.

“It does appear to me to be a generational issue,” said House Speaker Thom Tillis, “so 20 or 30 years from now, if you look back at the society we were 20 or 30 years ago, it just seems to me that those who support it are going to have to work hard to keep it in place, and they are probably going to have growing pressure to keep the constitutional issue in place as well as the underlying law which we all know is already there.”

But the national trend right now still favors banning same-sex marriage through state constitutional amendments. Thirty states have an amendment aimed at doing just that.

Opponents of North Carolina’s proposed amendment said North Carolina’s amendment is more ambiguous than most of the others, and that could have more far reaching consequences.

“If the folks who are pushing this amendment simply wanted to take the current definition of marriage that is in our statute and put it into the constitution, then they have made a terrible mistake,” said Alex Miller, with Equality NC and the Coalition to Protect All NC Families.

The groups launched the TV ad campaign last week encouraging North Carolinians to vote against the amendment.

Miller said this amendment does much more than just ban same-sex marriages.

“The folks who are pushing this amendment are lying about its true effects because they see if they tell the truth about it, they know that it probably won’t pass,” said Miller.

Legal scholars across the state are weighing in on this issue..

A group of professors from Campbell University School of Law issued a paper on the amendment, where they said concerns over domestic violence protection are unwarranted.

They said current state law would continue to act as it does now even with the amendment in place.

In a separate statement, family law professors from across the state voiced concerns over the proposal, saying it would be a far reaching amendment. That could end the ability of some North Carolinians to get health insurance.

As this issue is debated by lawyers and the court of public opinion, it also has been debated from city to city and county to county across the state.

“Same-sex marriage is not only an issue that divides states from one another, Northeast from South, but one can see within North Carolina,” said Jon Dinan of Wake Forest University. “There has been this interesting development to hear of local municipalities and counties passing resolutions and one has passing resolutions in support of the amendment, there are resolutions passing in opposition to the amendment, and so it is a divided state as well and that is a testament to the deep splits on this issue.”

For advocates of this marriage amendment, they said they don’t see the confusion over the amendment. They said they believe it is a simple choice for the voters.

“Our marriage laws are vulnerable to the whims of radicals who want to redefine marriage against the will of the public,” said Rachel Lee, with Vote For Marriage NC, “and this amendment gives people a chance to look at their government and say to them and say you are not going to redefine marriage for me.”

For Megan, Shana and Jax, they said they received a lot of support from their neighbors as they look toward May 8, but worry about how the vote will turn out.

“I think it is a big misconception, people are calling this the gay marriage amendment,” said Shana Carignan. “It has nothing to do with gay marriage. If it doesn’t pass, it’s not like we are going to go down to the courthouse and get married. It just simply is not going to happen, but it would give us some sort of acceptance that our relationship is considered valid.”

“And that our family is a family in the eyes of the state,” said Megan Parker.

Meanwhile, in Raleigh, the Yanceys worry their support of the amendment will put a label on them, one that they said they believe does not paint the proper picture of their home.

“I think the hardest part has been that as a supporter of the amendment that people think that we hate other people and alternative lifestyles, when really it doesn’t have anything to do with that,” said Holly Yancey.

“I think people should be free to live how they want to live and I think Jesus would feel that way. But I think that defining something so fundamental as marriage just needs to happen, Because if you start undefining that, what is the next thing going to be?”

Two homes. Two points of view. Two families who are anxious to see the outcome on May 8.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story misspelled Shana Carignan’s name.