North Carolina Lawmakers Seek to Ban Gay Marriage

new york gay marriage
A protester holds up a sign in support of the traditional definition of marriage at the 'Let the People Vote' rally in New York City on July 24, 2011. |

Three Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are now looking to ban same-sex marriage in the state with a bill called the "Uphold Historical Marriage Act," which critics say is already "dead on arrival."

The bill, House Bill 780, sponsored by Reps. Larry Pittman, Michael Speciale and Carl Ford argues that the U.S. Supreme Court overstepped its "constitutional bounds" in 2015 when it struck down what was known as Amendment One.

"HB 780 is about the need for the states to reassert their rights. As the bill states, marriage is not a federal matter. For too long, the federal government and federal courts have been allowed to overstep their bounds because the states have not had the courage to say no. Upholding the U.S. and North Carolina constitutions means demanding that laws and court rulings do not contradict the very constitutions we are obligated to uphold. I appreciate Rep. Speciale and Rep. Ford for having the courage to stand with me and say so," Pittman said in a statement cited by WSOC-TV.

More than 60 percent of North Carolina voters approved of Amendment One in 2012 which declares that "marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."

In October 2014, however, U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn of Asheville struck down Amendment One.

The lawmakers argued in the bill that the Supreme Court not only overstepped their power in North Carolina but also overstepped "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 proposed HB780 would make the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage void in North Carolina and invalidate marriage between people of the same gender whether it was conducted inside or outside of the state.

Speciale said he was only looking to return North Carolina state law to what it was before the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling.

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement cited by CBS North Carolina on Wednesday, however, that HB780 should be considered dead on arrival in the General Assembly.

"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 his statement.

Ames Simmons, director of Transgender Police with Equality North Carolina, told CBS North Carolina that he felt the bill was only meant to be symbolic.

"There's no way in modern society that a law (like) this would pass," Simmons said.

Greg Wallace, a professor of law at Campbell University added, "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."

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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