North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan has come out against a proposed constitutional amendment which would ban gay marriage in the state.

Voters will decide on the measure during North Carolina's May 8 presidential primary.

If approved, the amendment would bar North Carolina from recognizing the relationships of gay and lesbian couples with marriage, civil unions and possibly domestic partnerships.

“In today's hyper partisan political environment, I view any attempt to alter our state constitution with a critical eye,” Hagan, a Democrat, said in a statement released to the media.

“Amendment One has far-reaching negative consequences for our families, our children and our communities. North Carolina is one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, and this amendment would harm our state's ability to recruit the innovators and businesses that are driving our economic recovery. Jobs are my number one priority, and we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball and give businesses a reason to grow and expand elsewhere,” she said.

Republican Senator Richard Burr, North Carolina's senior senator, has not spoken directly on the amendment, but he has previously supported an amendment to the Constitution which would define marriage as a heterosexual union.

“None of us ever want to change the Constitution,” Burr said during a 2004 debate. “But I can't think of any institution more important in this country than marriage being between a man and a woman.”