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Conservative legislators in Texas and North Carolina are pushing bills to fight same-sex marriage.
Texas Bill 522
On Tuesday, the Texas senate approved legislation that would allow county clerks to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses on religious grounds, Chron reports.
Republican state Senator Brian Birdwell said:
This provides a way for clerks to exercise their profoundly held religious beliefs under the First Amendment, and at the same time protect the rights of couples who are coming in for a marriage license. Right now, there is not an alternate mechanism for a clerk who is not willing to issue a license because of their sincerely held beliefs.
Unsurprisingly, the bill does not provide an alternative mechanism for a same-sex couple denied a marriage licensed by a homophobic clerk.
North Carolina’s Uphold Historical Marriage Act
HB780, also known as the Uphold Historical Marriage Act, reads, “Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of North Carolina, between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina.” The bill uses a questionable interpretation of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to justify the nullification.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Larry Pittman, Rep. Michael Speciale, and Rep. Carl Ford.
The North Carolina Republican Party has famously fought against LGBTQ rights, with disastrous results for the state’s people.
The state’s HB2 “bathroom bill,” which banned trans people from using public restrooms that matched their gender identity, severely damaged the state’s economy. Entertainers and businesses boycotted the state after the passage of HB2, costing the state millions of dollars.
North Carolina eventually overturned HB2, but in a way that didn’t really make anything better for trans people. Still, it was enough to satisfy the NCAA, who announced that they will let North Carolina host championship games again.
But if North Carolina passes this bill, they could face another boycott. Have they learned nothing?