RALEIGH - Three North Carolina legislators have received a major stepback in their attempt to ban same-sex marriage.
A bill introduced Tuesday claims that the U.S. Supreme Court overstepped itself with its 2015 ruling that had the effect of voiding an amendment to North Carolina's Constitution forbidding same-sex marriage that voters approved three years earlier.
Republican Reps. Larry Pittman of Concord, Michael Speciale of New Bern and Carl Ford of China Grove said in their proposed legislation that the U.S. Constitution's states-rights amendment allows North Carolina to decide for itself what its marriage laws should be.
Pittman released a statement on the legislation:
"HB 780 is about the need for the States to reassert their rights. As the bill states, marriage is not a federal matter. For too long, the federal government and federal courts have been allowed to overstep their bounds because the States have not had the courage to say no. Upholding the U.S., and N.C. Constitutions means demanding that laws and court rulings do not contradict the very Constitutions we are obligated to uphold. I appreciate Rep. Speciale and Rep. Ford for having the courage to stand with me and say so."
House Speaker Tim Moore released a statement Wednesday on the Uphold Historical Marriage Act that said, "There are strong constitutional concerns with this legislation given that the U.S. Supreme Court has firmly ruled on the issue, therefore House Bill 780 will be referred to the House Rules Committee and will not be heard."
The Rules Committee is typically where bills that lack support from leadership go and are never heard.
The ACLU of North Carolina said gay marriage is the law and derided the legal reasoning of the three legislators as "half-baked" and "absurd."
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