Jim Neal, an openly gay man who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2008, was among three GetEqual activists arrested Thursday night at the North Carolina Statehouse protesting a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage in the state.

The activists shouted “liberty and justice for all” on the state House floor while the chamber was in session. (Video footage of the action, provided by gay website Pam's House Blend, is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

Also arrested were Angel Chandler, who helms the group's North Carolina chapter, and Mary Counce.

About 200 people held a rally to protest the amendment outside the Statehouse on Thursday afternoon, two weeks after an estimated 2,000 people turned out for a rally in support of the ban.

North Carolina currently bars gay and lesbian couples from marrying, but social conservatives say the law remains vulnerable to legal challenges without the amendment.

The General Assembly is expected to debate the measure during a special session in September.

Minnesota lawmakers last month agreed to send a similar amendment to voter for their approval in 2012.