In North Carolina, Republican state lawmakers are putting forth a proposal for a new bill, a bill that would ban gay marriage in the state. North Carolina state Reps. Larry Pittman, Carl Ford, and Michael Speciale are the primary sponsors of the bill, House Bill 780, or “Uphold Historical Marriage Act.”
The “Uphold Historical Marriage Act” claims the Supreme Court in the U.S over stepped its “constitutional bounds” by striking down what was known as Amendment One in 2015, making it legal for gay people to get married.
In May 2012, more than 60 percent of those who cast a ballot had voted in favor of Amendment One, the Amendment which prohibited North Carolina from performing, or even recognizing same-sex marriages or civil unions.
The bill not only claims that the Supreme Court overstepped their bounds in North Carolina, but also that they overstepped “the decree of Almighty God.”
House bill 780 would make the Supreme Court’s decision regarding gay marriage void for those in North Carolina. This means that marriages between persons of the same gender would not be recognized as valid, whether they were conducted inside or outside of North Carolina. The state would declare that the federal government would not legally be authorized to regulate marriage any longer.
The proposal would make is so the state could just flat out refuse to recognize the ruling of the Supreme Court in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which led to same-sex marriages being legalized nationwide. According to the bill the ruling “exceeds the authority of the Court relative to the decree of Almighty God that ‘a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24, ESV) and abrogates the clear meaning and understanding of marriage in all societies throughout prior history.”
It appears that the bill follows the same logic as several other states’ rights measures filed by Pittman and Speciale in the past. The Tenth Amendment of the U.S Constitution gives states the power to refuse to comply with or acknowledge federal laws, or choices the state leaders deem as unconstitutional.
Policy director for the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Sarah Gillooly called the proposal “half-baked” also noting that same-sex marriage is not only the law of the land in North Carolina but for the entire nation. Gillooly stated:
‘This bill is absurd, unconstitutional and further proof that some North Carolina legislators remain committed to discriminating against LGBT people and their families. North Carolina lawmakers cannot defy the U.S. Supreme Court based on their extreme personal views.’
Gay marriage became legal in June 2015 under Obama’s reign. The legalization of these marriages was a big step of members of the LGBT community in being able to celebrate and validate their marriage the same way any other American could. If this bill passes in North Carolina it will have been one step forward and a million back for the LGBT community.
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