North Carolina Bill Calls For End To Gay Marriage

This comes just two weeks after the NCAA ended its boycott of the state

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Apr 12, 2017 at 11:45 AM ET

Two weeks after repackaging its discriminatory transgender bathroom bill into similarly awful legislation —which somehow appeased the NCAA enough for it to end statewide boycotts—and a day after the Supreme Court swore in Neil Gorsuch, thereby restoring a conservative majority, North Carolina apparently feels emboldened to attack more civil rights and legal protections afforded to its citizens.

The latest in neanderthalic thinking comes from four Republican assemblymen who introduced HB780, which seeks to outlaw same-sex marriage in North Carolina in direct defiance of the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing that right due to 14th Amendment protections for “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.” HB780, which surprisingly was not scratched with rocks on the side of a cave, claims the Supreme Court “overstepped its constitutional bounds,” quotes the Old Testament book of Genesis, and decrees “marriages between persons of the same gender not valid.”

The NCAA’s Board of Governors, just seven days prior, had “reluctantly” ended its boycott of the state for championship sites despite their own list of ways that the new North Carolina legislation is still “inconsistent” with the organization’s bylaws and that “inclusive culture” core value. This new bill is fully in the spirt of exclusivity and prompted a completely warranted taunt from the ACLU toward the NCAA. The NBA also reinstated Charlotte to its list of possible All-Star Game sites (after relocating a prior such event), meaning it appears to have been duped by the new state law too.

The proposed bill drew immediate condemnation from the Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, and pundits did not expect it to pass. In a roundup of reactions, there were reminders that the four sponsors of the bill are among the state house’s most conservative legislators “whose bills often don’t get a hearing” because even their party leadership opposes them and that two of the sponsors “also filed a bill earlier this year seeking to remove the provision from North Carolina’s constitution that would prevent the state from seceding.”

So while HB780 itself probably won’t amount to anything substantive, the fact remains that pockets of deep intolerance remain in the state legislature, and North Carolina continues to be anything but the “nondiscriminatory environment” the NCAA and other sporting bodies should demand from its venues.

OutSports put it best, that HB780 “shows that anti-LGBT bias is alive and well and that the state is not fit to host NCAA events” and that “this anti-same sex marriage bill is one sign that the HB2 repeal was just for show and that Republican lawmakers are as homophobic and transphobic as ever. The state should not be rewarded.”