Republican House Speaker Tim Moore said House Bill 780, which proposed banning same-sex marriage in North Carolina, is dead and will not get a hearing in the House. In a statement on Wednesday, Moore 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.” Bills often die in the Rules Committee due to lack of support from party leaders.
The bill was filed on Tuesday, and its short life does not come as a surprise since it would have violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalizing same-sex marriage. The proposed legislation banning same-sex marriage gained widespread attention on social media shortly after a tweet from Buzzfeed News.
Four North Carolina House Republicans introduced a bill Tuesday that would defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. House Bill 780, titled “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” says the Supreme Court’s ruling would be “null and void” and declares “marriages between persons of the same gender not valid.” The bill also quotes the following portion of the Bible: “A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, ESV). The proposed legislation gained widespread attention after a tweet from Buzzfeed News national reporter Dominic Holden.
The Raleigh News & Observer reported that the bill would order North Carolina to return to the constitutional amendment known as Amendment One, which was approved in a 2012 voter referendum. Same-sex marriages performed in other states wouldn’t be recognized in North Carolina under HB 780. The bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Larry Pittman of Cabarrus, is a Christian minister. According to a WRAL article, Pittman refused to comment on the legislation he filed. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper released a statement saying, “The bill is wrong. We need more LGBT protections, not fewer.”
Holden called the bill “preposterous” and said it won’t become law. The News & Observer reported HB 780 was sponsored by the House’s most conservative legislators — a group that frequently files bills that don’t get a hearing because House GOP leaders don’t support the proposals.