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North Carolina Republicans are trying to ban same-sex marriage

by Tess Owen
Apr 12 2017, 10:25am

The dust has barely settled since North Carolina partially repealed its controversial “bathroom bill” two weeks ago, but lawmakers there are already proposing another bold new way to curb LGBTQ rights.

Three Republican lawmakers on Tuesday filed a bill that, if passed, would make same-sex marriage illegal in North Carolina, and nullify any such marriages that have already been officiated.

House Bill 780, or the “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” asserts that the U.S. Supreme Court “overstepped its constitutional bounds” in its historic 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

That ruling voided Article 14, Section 6 of North Carolina’s state constitution, which said the state would recognize marriages or civil unions only if they are between a man and a woman. The bill’s authors, Reps. Larry Pittman, Carl Ford, and Michael Speciale, note that 61 percent of North Carolinians in 2012 voted in favor of upholding Article 14.

In the past year, the state of North Carolina has become somewhat synonymous with LGBTQ discrimination.

Last May, it passed its infamous “bathroom bill,” also known as HB2, that prohibited transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. That prompted a legal showdown between North Carolina and the federal government and cost the state millions in lost business and events, including a Bruce Springsteen concert and an NCAA college basketball championship series.

Civil rights advocates were dismayed by last month’s HB2 “compromise” that repealed the bathroom bill but also barred local jurisdictions from passing laws to protect LGBTQ residents from discrimination until 2020.

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same-sex marriage
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House Bill 780