The United States Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex couples had the right to marry under the United States Constitution.
Three North Carolina Republicans filed a bill on Tuesday saying the nation’s high court “overstepped its constitutional bounds” when making that decision. The new bill says “Marriages between persons of the same gender not valid.” House Bill 780 is titled the “Uphold Historic Marriage Act.” The bill says the North Carolina General Assembly would “declare” the 2015 ruling “null and void in the State of North Carolina.”
The proposal contends that “laws concerning marriage are for each state to establish and maintain.” That line of thinking would reinstitute North Carolina’s Amendment One banning same-sex marriage, which passed on the primary ballot of the 2012 election. That amendment was then found unconstitutional in October 2014.
Beyond contending the 2015 decision goes beyond the authority of the law, the bill says the court ruling over same-sex marriage “exceeds the authority of the court relative to the decree of Almighty God.” The bill then quotes a verse from the English Standard Version of the Christian Bible.
The proposal was quickly lambasted once it was filed on Tuesday.
North Carolina Democratic Governor Roy Cooper tweeted: “This bill is wrong. We need more LGBT protections, not fewer.”
North Carolina Democratic Party chair Wayne Goodwin issued a statement on Tuesday:
“Republicans in the General Assembly seem to have a special talent for embarrassing themselves and our state. Instead of wasting their time on hateful, discriminatory and clearly unconstitutional legislation, they should be working with Governor Cooper to improve our schools and cut taxes for the middle class.”
American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina policy director Sarah Gillooly also issued a statement:
“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. 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.”
The North Carolina Republican Party and legislative leadership had not issued statements on the legislation as of this posting.
The bill is unlikely to move forward. Two of the three legislators who sponsored HB780 also filed a bill earlier this year seeking to remove the provision from North Carolina’s constitution that would prevent the state from seceding.