A bill sponsored by six South Carolina Republican lawmakers wants to redefine same-sex marriage.
Entitled the ‘Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act’, it seeks to amend South Carolina laws to include new definitions around marriage.
In short, it will ‘define certain terms, including “parody marriage” and “marriage”; to provide that parody marriage policies are nonsecular in nature; to prohibit the state from respecting, endorsing, or recognizing any parody marriage policy or policies that treat sexual orientation as a suspect class; and for other purposes.’
Basically, as same-sex marriage is now the law of the land, it wants to create a two-tier system for marriage.
The representatives sponsoring the bill are: Steven Wayne Long, William M ‘Bill’ Chumley, James Mikell ’Mike’ Burns, John R McCravy III, Josiah Magnuson and Richard ‘Rick’ Martin.
The bill was read for the first time and referred to Committee on Judiciary on 15 February.
‘Marriage between a man and a woman is natural, neutral, and noncontroversial’
The bill notes: ‘civilizations for millennia have defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
‘Marriage between and man and a woman arose out of the nature of things and marriage between a man and a woman is natural, neutral, and noncontroversial, unlike parody forms of marriage.’
It goes on to claim, ‘In the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges [the case that prompted the SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage] there has not been a land rush on gay marriage, but there has been a land rush on the persecution of nonobservers by Secular Humanists and an effort by Secular Humanists to infiltrate and indoctrinate minors in public schools to their religious world view which is questionably moral, plausible, obscene, and is not secular; and … it is unsettled whether or not sexual orientation is immutable or genetic and is therefore a matter of faith.’
Around half a million gay and bisexual people got married in the first 12 months following the SCOTUS ruling in June 2015.
‘Lawmakers should focus on actual challenges facing their constituents’
LGBT advocates have blasted the bill.
Sarah Warbelow, Legal Director with HRC told GSN: ‘Marriage equality is the undisputed law of the land.
‘Lawmakers should focus on actual challenges facing their constituents, not obsess over a settled issue that the overwhelming majority of Americans support. This is a distraction that denigrates tens of thousands of loving same-sex couples and their families.’
‘Representative Long and the Keystone Cop Caucus’
Jeff Ayers, executive director of SC Equality, singled out Steven Wayne Long for criticism.
‘This is nothing more than an attempt by a first-term representative to pander to his far-right base in an election year.
‘Bills like this are hateful, discriminatory and only make it more difficult to recruit new business to South Carolina.
‘The LGBT community and our allies will not stand silently as Representative Long and the Keystone Cop Caucus paints a picture of South Carolina that is full of discrimination and bigotry.
He too said the issue of marriage equality has been settled by the Supreme Court. But, ‘If this bill were to pass, our lawyers are standing by to challenge it in the courts and the state will lose.’