North Carolina voters continue to support a proposed gay marriage ban but also say the relationships of gay couples should be recognized.

Voters will decide on the constitutional amendment during the state's upcoming May 8 primary.

A new poll released Thursday by Public Policy Polling found a majority (58%) of likely primary voters plan to vote for the amendment, while 38 percent plan to vote against it.

The amendment, however, goes beyond banning gay couples from marrying; it would also ban other forms of legal recognition, including civil unions and possibly domestic partnerships.

And there's the rub, because a majority of those surveyed (51%) also say they support some form of legal recognition for gay couples.

“Part of the problem is that voters are not well informed about what the amendment does,” wrote Dustin Ingalls in releasing the poll's results. “A 34% plurality say there are not sure on that question. Almost as many (31%) do know that it would ban both gay marriage and civil unions, but then not many fewer (28%) think it would only ban marriage. 7% actually think it would legalize gay marriage. Those who think it bans solely marriage rights are voting 67-30 for it, so 8% of North Carolinians, while misinformed, are voting against the measure simply because they think it bans same-sex marriage alone. Of course, those who think a 'yes' vote actually legalizes these unions are voting by the same margin for it.”

Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, added: “The marriage amendment is leading by a wide margin right now. But there's a dramatic shift in the numbers once voters become aware about how far reaching it is. Education is the key for those hoping to defeat it over the next six weeks.”

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.