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North Carolina Bill Aims to Ban Gay Marriage

Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are proposing a bill that would ban gay marriage in the state, a local CBS affiliate reports. The state, still reeling from the effects of its controversial bathroom bill, would effectively defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

HB 780, known as “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” is being sponsored by the most conservative Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Michael Speciale (R-Beaufort), Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus) and Rep. Carl Ford (R-Cabarrus).

According to the bill, the U.S. Supreme Court “overstepped its constitutional bounds” in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which made same-sex marriage legal across the nation.

The judges struck down “Amendment One” in North Carolina’s constitution, which prohibits the state from performing or recognizing civil unions for same-sex couples.

According to Amendment One, “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized.”

Under HB 780, same-sex marriage would not be recognized in the state, whether the marriage was performed inside or outside North Carolina.

The bill also alleges that the Supreme Court’s decision violates “the decree of Almighty God.”

Greg Wallace, a law professor at Campbell University, told CBS the law “would be declared unconstitutional” if passed.

“While people legitimately can disagree with the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, a state legislature cannot overrule the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the federal constitution,” said Wallace.

Governor Roy Cooper weighed in on the bill, calling it “wrong.”

“We need more LGBT protections, not fewer,” Cooper said.

Other states have attempted to defy the Supreme Court ruling, but none have succeeded. Roy Moore, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, ordered judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The judge’s decision was overturned, and he was eventually removed from office.

John Burns, Wake County Commissioner, criticized the bill on Twitter, tweeting: “Pittman and Speciale are an embarrassment to the State of North Carolina and should be shunned from public life.”