It's been two years since the U.S. Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal throughout the U.S. However, this hasn't stopped some state legislators from trying to undo that progress. Recently, some Arkansas lawmakers sought to outlaw gay marriage, but met with strong resistance.
The "Uphold Historical Marriage Act"
Now three North Carolina legislators, all Republicans, are trying to do the same thing with a bill they call the "Uphold Historical Marriage Act." Part of the language in the bill states that the 2015 ruling "exceeds the authority of the court relative to the decree of Almighty God" and that states should have the right to ban same-sex marriage if they choose.
North Carolina, of course, is also the state where a controversial law that prohibited transgender people from using whichever bathroom they felt most comfortable in was repealed amid widespread outrage and boycotts by businesses, artists and sports leagues. Politicians seem in no mood to spark another such controversy.
Bill Has Been Denied a Hearing
Even the Republican house speaker said that the bill would not receive a hearing. He said in a statement, "There are strong constitutional concerns with this legislation given that the U.S. Supreme Court has firmly ruled on the issue." North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said, "We need more LGBT protections, not fewer."
One constitutional law professor compared efforts to overturn same-sex marriage legalization to those in some states decades ago to defy the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling. That Supreme Court decision determined that school segregation based on race violated the Constitution.
Even though support for gay marriage among Americans is generally strong and growing, some states are more conservative than others and elect conservative lawmakers who will continue to push to turn back the clock on gay rights and other civil rights progress.
While same-sex marriage is legal under federal law, it's essential for same-sex couples to know the laws in their state regarding divorce, adoption, child custody and other family law issues. A family law attorney in your state can help take the legal steps you need to protect your rights.
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