Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius on Saturday spoke out against a proposed constitutional amendment which would ban gay marriage in North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) North Carolina gala held at the Charlotte Convention Center, Sebelius told 1,400 people that reelecting President Barack Obama was critical and suggested that defeating the amendment on May 8 would boost the president's campaign.

“I know there's an important election in early may in North Carolina,” Sebelius said. “And I think it's a great template for what needs to be done to organize people and turn out people for November. North Carolina is hugely important in this next [presidential] election.”

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.

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx told the crowd that “when I go into the ballot box in May … I'm going to be voting against Amendment 1.”

Openly gay CNN anchor Don Lemon was honored for living an “open and honest” life with the group's Visibility Award.