Republican lawmakers in North Carolina proposed a bill that would make gay marriage illegal in the state, just like the way it was before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in 2015.
The "Uphold Historical Marriage Act," otherwise known as House Bill 780, declares that the high court "overstepped its constitutional bounds" when it decided to make same-sex marriage legal.
It also states that the federal government, according to the U.S. Constitution, does not have the "authority or power to establish laws concerning marriage." Thus, by ruling that marriage between similar sexes is legal, the Supreme Court exceeded its authority relative to the state of North Carolina.
The bill also says the high court went beyond its authority relative to God's written decree, citing a verse from the Book of Genesis, which says 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).
Marriage between two persons of the same sex is not valid in the state, the bill says. This would apply even to those who are legally married outside the state. If the bill is passed, the validity of same-sex marriages would not be recognized in North Carolina.
"Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted or performed outside of North Carolina, between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina," the bill states.
Republican Reps. Larry Pittman, Michael Speciale and Carl Ford are the primary sponsors of HB 780.
There were various reactions to the proposed legislation. Gov. Roy Cooper said the bill is "wrong."
"We need more LGBT protections, not fewer," he tweeted.
House Speaker Tim Moore said the bill will not get a hearing because of constitutional concerns. He said the bill will be forwarded to the House Rules Committee, the committee where bills that appear to have no chance of surviving are often referred to.
"There are strong constitutional concerns with this legislation given that the U.S. Supreme Court has firmly ruled on the issue," Moore said in a statement, "therefore House Bill 780 will be referred to the House Rules Committee and will not be heard."
Republican Rep. Scott Stone said that of the 127 bills filed Tuesday, HB 780 is the least likely to be passed. His post on Twitter indicated the bill did not deserve the attention it was getting.
John Burns, Wake County Commissioner, called the primary sponsors of the bill as "embarrassments" to the state.
"Pittman and Speciale are embarrassments to the State of North Carolina and should be shunned from public life," he said.