If it were up to four white, Republican male lawmakers, same-sex marriage would be banned in North Carolina. In fact, they’ve introduced a bill to do just that, despite a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling to the contrary.
Obergefell v. Hodges be damned — House Bill 780 states not only that the highest court in the nation overstepped its constitutional bounds, but it also cites a Bible verse for a “clear meaning and understanding of marriage in all societies throughout prior history.”
“‘[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),” the bill recites.
Once that has sunk in, you can read the crux of the bill:
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 51-1.2 reads as rewritten:
“§ 51-1.2. Marriages between persons of the same gender not valid.
(a) The General Assembly of the State of North Carolina declares that the Obergefell v. Hodges decision of the United States Supreme Court of 2015 is null and void in the State of North Carolina, and that the State of North Carolina shall henceforth uphold and enforce Section 6 of Article XIV of the North Carolina Constitution, the opinion and objection of the United States Supreme Court notwithstanding.
(b) Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of North Carolina, between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina.”
Yes, you read that right. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling would be “null and void” in North Carolina if the bill were to pass. Oh, and if you are already in a same-sex marriage in the state, it won’t be valid under HB 780.
So, who are the men trying to bring North Carolina back to “the decree of Almighty God?” Republican Reps. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus), Michael Speciale (R-Beaufort, Craven, Pamlico), Carl Ford (R-Cabarrus, Rowan) and Mark Brody (R-Anson, Union).
Gov. Roy Cooper took the bill to task on Twitter: “This bill is wrong. We need more LGBT protections, not fewer.”
The ACLU of North Carolina also responded quickly to the proposed legislation.
“Marriage equality is the law of the land in North Carolina and the entire nation, no matter what half-baked legal theories anti-LGBT lawmakers try to put forward,” said ACLU-NC Policy Director Sarah Gillooly. “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.”
It’s true that other states that have tried and failed to overstep the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage, but the possibility of litigation hasn’t been known to stop North Carolina legislators in the past.
Lawmakers just voted last week to repeal HB2, the state’s sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation, but replaced it with the controversial HB142, which prevents cities in North Carolina from enacting protections for the LGBTQ community.