GOP lawmakers in North Carolina introduce bill to restore ban on same-sex marriage
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina introduced a bill Tuesday that looks to ban same-sex marriage in the state.
House Bill 780, or the “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” says the Supreme Court “overstepped its constitutional bounds” in its 2015 ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. The justices ruled 5-4 in favor of marriage equality nationwide, a landmark decision that overturned same-sex marriage bans in several states in the country, including North Carolina.
The ruling struck down Amendment One of North Carolina’s constitution, which barred the state from recognizing or performing same-sex marriages or civil unions. The amendment was passed in 2012 with 61 percent of the vote, a number the bills highlights. The new bill seeks to restore that amendment, saying same-sex marriages are “not valid.”
The bill also says the Supreme Court ruling exceeded the authority of “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 22 one flesh. (Genesis 2:24, ESV).'”
The legislation was sponsored by three GOP lawmakers: Rep. Larry Pittman, Rep. Michael Speciale and Rep. Carl Ford.
Will the bill pass?
All signs currently point to no.
If anything, the bill is a symbolic move in a state that’s been a hotbed of political debate over its so-called “bathroom bill,” which advocates said violated LGBTQ rights.
Gov. Roy Cooper — fresh off a repeal of the state’s controversial “bathroom bill” — condemned the bill on Twitter.
“The bill is wrong. We need more LGBT protections, not fewer,” he wrote.
This bill is wrong. We need more LGBT protections, not fewer. – RC https://t.co/o5niNU9Ly7
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) April 11, 2017
However, if passed, HB 780 would indeed overturn the Supreme Court’s decision and void its effects for the state. Still, it likely would not last, at least according to one legal expert.
“While people legitimately can disagree with the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, a state legislature cannot overrule the supreme court’s interpretation of the federal constitution,” Greg Wallace, a law professor at Campbell University told WNCN.
“If this bill were to become law it would be declared unconstitutional,” he added.