First of all, let me outline briefly what Amendment 1 entails, because most of the voters in-state didn't have a clue. Amendment 1 defined in the state constitution that the only valid union in North Carolina is marriage between a man and a woman. Not only does that mean no gay marriage, it means no domestic partnerships or civil unions for straight couples as well.
Such a measure has actually been brought up before, but the Democrat controlled legislature has been able to keep it from coming to a vote until losing that control this past year. Unsurprisingly it passed by about a 60-40 margin even though a large percentage of voters had no clue what they were pulling the lever for. Some polls theorize that if all voters had a clear understanding of the amendment, then it would have failed by the same 60-40 margin.
What does it mean that a gay marriage ban passed by a considerable margin in a state chock full of conservatives? Considering that we've been here before as North Carolina banned interracial marriages in 1875, not very much. Also, a majority of the monetary support for Amendment 1 came from out of state special interest groups (read: National Organization for Marriage).
The reason that's important is because NOM already has it's hands full with Washington and Maryland's governments passing Marriage Equality bills this year, New York passing its own last year, New Hampshire politicians voting down a measure to repeal Marriage Equality this year, a push to get marriage equality on the ballot in New Jersey, a vote similar to the one in North Carolina coming up later this year in Minnesota, and efforts in Colorado to pass a bill that would allow same-sex Civil Unions. And that doesn't even consider the (failing) efforts NOM has been making to conceal its donors. NOM has lost every single time it's fought to keep its wealthy benefactors secret, most recently in Maine which led to the release of documents that outlined NOM's race-baiting strategy of "driving a wedge between gays and blacks."
Furthermore, it's long been suspected that one of NOM's major donors is the Catholic church itself, which is amusing because Catholics are one of the most pro-LGBT Christian sects with 56% polling as in favor of Marriage Equality.
2012 has been a bit like D-day for Marriage equality. Sure some beaches have been lost, but the overwhelming push has been and will prove to be insurmountable.