North Carolina Bill Would Reinstate Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

HB 780 declares marriage equality "is null and void in the State of North Carolina."

A bill filed today by Republicans in the North Carolina Legislature would reinstate North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage, in defiance of the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that brought marriage equality to all 50 states.

The News and Observer reports House Bill 780, the “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” declares that the legalization of same-sex marriage “is null and void in the State of North Carolina” and reinstate Amendment One, approved in a 2012 referendum.

“This bill is wrong,” tweeted Governor Roy Cooper. “We need more LGBT protections, not fewer.”

Quoting the New Testament, HB 780 says Obergefell v. Hodges “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.”

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Legislators will file bills that never make it to committee, as a kind of showboating. But even the attempt is an affront.

“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,” said Sarah Gillooly of the ACLU North Carolina. “This bill is absurd, unconstitutional and further proof that some North Carolina legislators remain committed to discriminating against LGBT people and their families.”

In a statement, the North Carolina Democratic Party said their opponents across the aisle “”have a special talent for embarrassing themselves and our state.”

The Tar Heel state is still smarting from the disappointing compromise that lead to the repeal of HB2, but barred anti-discrimination measures till 2020.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.