Less than two weeks after the state-wide headache caused by the anti-transgender 'bathroom bill' was partially resolved in North Carolina, a few Republican lawmakers are compounding the state's anti-LGBT image. A bill filed in the state's General Assembly is seeking to reintroduce a ban on same-sex marriage that was struck down in the US Supreme Court's landmark 2015 ruling.
House Bill 780 argues that the Supreme Court decision Obergefell v Hodges which legalised marriage between same-sex couples across America is unconstitutional and infringes on states' rights. The bill also says that the ruling "exceeds the authority of the Court relative to the decree of Almighty God" before quoting the Bible.
The bill seeks to bring back into effect an ammendment to North Carolina's constitution which states that "marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State" – an ammendment that was passed by 61% in a 2012 state-wide referendm.
The bill is sponsored by three Republican state representatives: Larry Pittman, Michael Speciale and Carl Ford. Equality NC, an LGBT rights group in the state, said the bill "continues the long line of attacks on LGBTQ North Carolinians and seeks to enshrine discrimination further into law."
Asked whether there was any chance the bill could be enacted, Elizabeth Marvin, a Washington-based lawyer with Lewis Baach, told IBTimes UK: "there's a very slim chance... they certainly could enact it but it would be challenged and in light of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v Hodges it would be struck down as unconstitutional."
North Carolina has only just managed to repeal an anti-transgender 'bathroom bill' that was projected to lose the state billions of dollars in investment. Notably the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which organised popular college sports tournaments, had turned its back on the state it once favoured.
The deal finally struck to repeal the bathroom bill did not go far enough for many though and was heavily criticised for including a moritorium on cities introducing nondiscrimination ordinances for the LGBT community until 2020
The NCAA agreed to return tournaments to the state after the repeal deal was enacted. When House Bill 780 came to light, the American Civil Liberties Union posted a tweet taunting the NCAA decision to return to the state.
The North Carolina Democratic Party released a statement on the bill saying: "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."