After finally putting its transgender bathroom bill to rest, North Carolina now wants to ban same-sex marriage... again. As you might remember, the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide in 2015, but North Carolina Republicans think the court "overstepped its constitutional bounds," as the proposed bill says.
House Bill 780, also subtly known as the Uphold Historical Marriage Act, declares the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision from two summers ago "null and void in the State of North Carolina." It reads, "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."
Unsurprisingly, the proposed bill quotes the Bible, claiming the Supreme Court opposed "the decree of Almighty God that 'a man shall leave his father and his mother and is united to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24, ESV).'"
The Uphold Historical Marriage Act obviously doesn't have much to stand on, since the highest court already ruled on the issue and the Bible doesn't count as legal precedent. But, that certainly isn't stopping North Carolina lawmakers from trying to keep gay couples from getting married.
Two short weeks ago, the state repealed the controversial HB2 bill banning transgender people from using public bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity. However, the law replacing it isn't entirely LGBTQ-friendly, since it prohibits local governments from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances for three years.
Rep. Deb Butler, one of only two openly LGBTQ lawmakers in the state's legislature, told NBC News, "Nothing surprises me out of this legislature anymore." She said of the new bill, "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 doesn't think the bill will pass, despite the legislature's conservative majority, and even if it does, it will likely be ruled unconstitutional in federal court. Basically, it's a huge waste of time.
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