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North Carolina Lawmakers Attempt to Defy Supreme Court on Gay Marriage

by Countable | 4.14.17

North Carolina GOP Reps. Larry Pittman, Michael Speciale, and Carl Ford introduced the "Uphold Historical Marriage Act" this week, which argues that when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 to uphold same-sex marriage as a “fundamental right” it “overstepped its constitutional bounds.”

Whereas, the ruling of the United States Supreme Court not only exceeds the 19 authority of the Court relative to the State of North Carolina and a vote of the People of the 20 State on an issue pertaining solely to the State of North Carolina and the People of North 21 Carolina but also exceeds the authority of the Court relative to the decree of Almighty God that 22 "a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become 23 one flesh" (Genesis 2:24, ESV) and abrogates the clear meaning and understanding of marriage 24 in all societies throughout prior history;

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has publicly criticized the legislation on Twitter and the Republican Speaker of the House for North Carolina, Rep. Tim Moore, said he was referring the bill to the House Rules Committee and that it wouldn’t be heard on the House floor.

North Carolina is still recovering from controversy around HB2, a 2016 bill that banned transgender people from using the public bathroom of their choice. Corporations, sports leagues and artists all put strong pressure on the state, pulling games, concerts, events and planned expansions. Reports estimated that the state will lose $3.76 billion over more than a dozen years despite the law being partially repealed in March because of companies nixing planned expansions.

North Carolina is not the only state attempting to override the Supreme Court decision. Arkansas lawmakers also attempted to advance a bill overturning the decision in March, but scuttled the effort when confronted with public outcry.

Since the bill has been sent to committee and the House Leader does not plan to allow it to advance to the floor, it has no chance. But that does not mean the bill’s proponents will give up. In the bill they cite the 61 percent vote in favor of the state’s 2012 amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage, though state fact checkers have disputed those numbers.

During the civil rights era, some southern states repeatedly tried to defy the Supreme Court over the federal abolition of segregation. Ultimately, their efforts were unsuccessful. Only time will tell if these Southern legislators will also have to submit to the sweep of history.

Should states pursue legislation to outlaw same-sex marriage in defiance of the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling? Use the "Take Action" button to let your reps know what you think!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Benson Kuta via Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(403)
  • Lori
    04/14/2017
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    Separation of Church and State. God does not sit in Congress and those that do, represent more than Christians.

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  • Heidi
    04/14/2017
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    We will not go backwards. To the backwards thinking congress people that put this measure forth, we the forward thinking Majority of Americans say, "We will not stand by while you attempt to turn our country into a narrow minded, cesspool of ignorance and hate." No, we will respond with facts, unity and love. love is love is love. Keep America Great, keep hate out. Vote the hate out 2018!!

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  • Inga
    04/14/2017
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    Whether you believe in gay marriage or not, denying people a basic right given by the government is ridiculous. Additionally, even if you believe that being gay is wrong, other people being gay doesn't affect your life/ ability to go to heaven.

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  • Sam
    04/14/2017
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    This is absolutely outrageous! We are in 2017 and the fact that we have a state trying to ban same-sex marriage is disgraceful and appalling! The supreme court made its decision and marriage equality is law whether you like it or not. Any politician who takes the side of this ban is a national embarrassment.

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  • Chip
    04/14/2017
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    I'm not originally from North Carolina, but I'm considering making Durham my permanent home in about 7- 10 years when I retire from active duty. However, North Carolina is really going to have to get some things together in the meantime. Unfair treatment of the LGBTQ community is at the top of that list.

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  • Millie
    04/14/2017
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    Gay marriage is allowed by law! Many gay and lesbian couples are married and have families! Why would anyone try to take their rights away? This was resolved by the highest court in the nation! Please take steps to further protect the rights of LBGTQ individuals! They should have the same protections against discrimination as the rest of us do!

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  • Anne
    04/14/2017
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    It's always amazed me that a religion that highlights love of one's neighbor often plays out in real life as an opportunity to attack others in the most hateful of ways! Judge not least ye be judged. Love IS love! If you are using the Bible to hurt or marginalize others to make the world the way you want it to be, maybe you ought to try reading it!

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  • Mary
    04/14/2017
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    Why are we still pursuing this issue? Why are people threatened by this? It doesn't invalidate your heterosexual marriage. Mind your own business. Let people live their lives with respect to their beliefs. Let's all respect our differences and stop trying to change a deeply held personal belief.

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  • Gioia
    04/14/2017
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    Beyond all things there is something to be said for respecting the will of the people in a democratic society. As we continue down the path of reversal of fortune for those who have continually been marginalized and oppressed, we are finding that more and more Americans are speaking to the truth and power of equality. Real equality. No matter the actions taken here these voices will not be silenced any longer. When the people in power come around, or are voted out, we can begin to handle what really needs to be taken care of in our country. Two adults wanting to love and marry each other has nothing to do with anyone, but those two people. The future and well being of our country is not contingent upon who loves whom. The future of our country is contingent upon hoping and helping everyone to succeed. Please stop wasting our time with things that have already been debated, researched and judged upon by the highest court in the US. Instead, why don't take the time to meet and learn about the millions of queer families in this country and open your mind to accepting humans as they are. blessings, peace and love.

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  • John
    04/14/2017
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    Bigotry and intolerance disguised as religious freedom was used to defy civil rights protections, and this was refuted by the Supreme Court. These are the exact same arguments being recycled again. This is bigotry and intolerance masquerading as religious freedom.

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  • Mark
    04/14/2017
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    I am gay and it's so funny how the Bible is still referred to politically hahah. I love reading all the comments and how supportive you all are!

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  • Ray
    04/14/2017
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    The Right seems to respect "law and order" except when it inconveniences their so-called religious (social) beliefs or "morals." It is hypocrisy of staggering proportion!

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  • RobY
    04/14/2017
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    Any legislation language that includes scripture of religious texts of any type should be immediately struck down. Clear separation of church and state!

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  • Heather
    04/14/2017
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    Tell NC to keep their religious beliefs out of others' human rights.

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  • Gretchen
    04/14/2017
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    Bigotry and intolerance disguised as religious freedom was used to defy civil rights protections, and this was refuted by the Supreme Court. These are the exact same arguments being recycled again. This is bigotry and intolerance masquerading as religious freedom.

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  • HawaiiChris
    04/14/2017
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    The Uphold Historical Marriage Act is completely inappropriate. There is a separation of Church and State in this country and we represent more than conservative Christian values. Every human being deserves the right to marry the person of their choice and gender is irrelevant. Being able to choose the person you love as your life partner is al that matters. The government should have no power over this very personal choice. Marriage is a fundamental human right.

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  • Lauren
    04/15/2017
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    Is it not enough that I served my country, pay my taxes, love this state and all of its beauty and history? Is it not enough that I chose to get my education here and that my family has resided in this state for over 200 years? Is it not enough that my wife and I have built our home here, work here, are involved with our community, give our time and money to local and national charities, support and fundraise for our first responders and veterans, participate in protecting our natural resources like our beloved Catawba River, donate generously to child and animal welfare in NC and beyond as well as support local businesses big and small and love every inch of this great state that we proudly call our home while doing so? Is it not enough that we patiently waited for 2 years after our marriage was federally recognized for our home state to recognize it while we endured an unfair tax burden among other inequities associated with the lack of recognition of our marriage? How has our marriage so disrupted the state of affairs in NC that a bill need be considered to negate it or future marriages of others? How has any legal marriage between consenting adults done such harm that this bill, over so many other critical issues in NC, even be momentarily considered? Who is it that we have somehow offended through our legally recognized lifelong commitment to each other that finds it unbearable for us to continue as happily married productive citizens? While of course I'm aware that some people disagree with "gay marriage" and of course there's no question that they have a right to their opinion, I must ask what damage have they so suffered that allows their opinion to be of more import than the basic civil rights of others? Since Oct of 2014 gay marriage has been legal in NC and what has happened that suggests it in any way hurts our state?! Armageddon didn't come! No one tried to marry their brother or a barnyard animal as so many so ignorantly implied would be the "slippery slope." No heterosexual marriage has come to mean any less than what it did previously, and no church has been denied their right to decline to perform gay marriages or disagree with them. I can assure you that those in opposition to my right to marry have not lost their voice as I have heard those voices loudly and clearly to include some spoken from state employees. There has been no censure, though some would have us falsely believe that bad press for discriminatory statements is the equivalent. All of the fears that were propagated to justify Amendment One have been shown to be either vacant, non-existent, or void of meaningful impact. NC is no longer on the precipice of change regarding marriage law, it happened nearly 3 years ago and we can all clearly see the results which are universally positive and demonstrate fairness and evolution. Even for those that oppose marriage rights, I implore you to cite valid examples of a demonstrable negative impact to our state since Oct of 2014 that were not caused by you yourselves! I ask you Sir, how can my NC legislators even consider this bill? What is the purpose other than to marginalize and damage North Carolinians like my wife and me and many others homosexual and heterosexual alike. What's the purpose other than to bolster the needless and cruel bigotry that tears out citizens apart and robs our state economically? Why would our legislators try to literally strangle the state in which they have been elected to serve?! Representative McHenry, you have sent me an emailed response to every message I have sent you regarding multitudinous issues and that has not gone unnoticed. I truly appreciate you and your office taking the time to acknowledge your constituents' opinions even when they are in opposition to your position. I would like to ask however if you would respond to this message not in form, but in specific regard to the questions I have asked above. Please tell me why you, or members of your party would consider this bill. Please tell me why it would be important for my wife and me not to enjoy the same rights and privileges as other North Carolinians in regards to our marriage. I must tell you that upon seeing this proposed bill, all of the aspects of our citizenry I mentioned above seem somehow foolish if the state does not see us or our marriage as valid and equal. This is the first moment that I have ever considered the idea that perhaps NC does not feel like home after all. Those in opposition to marriage equality lost nothing when NC recognized my marriage, their views on marriage are threatened by nothing other than the advance of civil society. But with this bill, my wife and I stand to lose one of the cornerstones of our existence. We stand to lose so very much. This bill gives nothing to North Carolinians, and takes away an immeasurable amount. So my final question to you is, how long must you weigh the merits of a bill that gives nothing, and takes so much? Please be a part of the future of the GOP and oppose this bill and others like it.

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  • Karan
    04/15/2017
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    I'm a religious conservative and I believe in religious freedom. I follow religion and believe in straight marriage. I also believe that if someone has an attraction to someone of the same sex, they should be allowed to marry. If you don't like gay marriage, don't do it.

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  • BeCounted
    04/15/2017
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    I don't understand why it is so high on the agenda of the GOP to make people's lives miserable. Is that what our elected officials spend their time on? Legislating their personal prejudice? Where will it end? Is no one safe?

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  • Colleen
    04/14/2017
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    Please don't tell me this is a group of goof ole White Boys trying to legislate their backwater morality.

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