Society

North Carolina Bill Attempts To Ban Same-Sex Marriage

| by Ray Brown

Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have introduced a bill that would ban same-sex marriage, despite a Supreme Court ruling that has already determined that such laws are unconstitutional.

"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," the bill states. "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."

News of the bill has made national headlines, despite the fact that even North Carolina Republicans killed the bill before it was even heard.

Republican state House Speaker Tim Moore said on April 11 that he won’t allow the bill to move forward this session.

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"There are strong constitutional concerns with this legislation given that the U.S. Supreme Court has firmly ruled on the issue, therefore House Bill 780 will be referred to the House Rules Committee and will not be heard," Moore said in a news release, according to the News & Observer.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the bill quotes the Christian Bible and says the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage "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."

Democratic state Rep. Deb Butler, an openly gay lawmaker in the North Carolina General Assembly, called the legislation "despicable," according to NBC News.

"Nothing surprises me out of this legislature anymore," Butler said. "As if we haven't already been in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons this year with HB2, we're now going to prove just how draconian and ridiculous we are."

Butler added: "It seems that these alt-right legislators don't learn from mistakes made, and they feel this sort of damaging and disruptive behavior is somehow going to get them reelected, and I think the contrary will prove true.″

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However, Butler didn't believe the bill will get much traction in the North Carolina General Assembly, despite Republicans having a majority.

"I can't fathom my more moderate and rational Republican colleagues would allow such a thing to happen," she said.

Michael J. Gerhardt, a professor of constitutional law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has a similar point of view.

"It is directly contrary to what the United States Supreme Court has said on this subject," he said. "It violates the rights that the United States Supreme Court has recognized, so as a result, I think it would be struck down by any court in this country."

Sources: NBC News, North Carolina Legislature, Charlotte Observer, News & Observer / Photo Credit: Patrick Doheny/Wikimedia Commons

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