Lawmakers in North Carolina are once again looking to roll back federal protections for LGBTQ folks in their state. The target this time is same-sex marriage.
House Bill 780, or the “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” would ban any marriage, civil union or common law marriage not between a man and a woman. If the bill is passed, the state would also not recognize same-sex marriages from anywhere else.
The sponsors of the bill feel the Supreme Court overstepped its constitutional authority in 2015 when it ruled bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The bill also claims the justices exceeded the “decree of the Almighty God.”
The bill is similar to the North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Amendment from 2012 that added a same-sex marriage ban to the state’s constitution. That ban was struck down in 2014, even before the SCOTUS ruling.
There are a couple reasons HB 780 is almost certainly not going to become a law. First, times have changed. The acceptance of same-sex marriage has been on the uptick for decades. According to Gallup, 61 percent of those polled say same-sex marriage should be valid.
And North Carolina has already lost jobs and tourism dollars because of HB 2, which forced trans people to use the bathroom for the gender listed on their birth certificate and caused massive outrage and rebuke across the nation.
Most importantly, the Supreme Court has spoken, and the law would almost immediately be deemed unconstitutional.
This is likely more of a symbolic gesture. Even if the bill somehow made it to the Democratic governor’s desk, he’s already made it very clear where he stands.
Roy Cooper tweeted Tuesday: “This bill is wrong. We need more LGBT protections, not fewer.”