February 21, 2018
BY ARIEL SOBEL
A new bill filed in South Carolina is challenging the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marraige. The bill, called the “Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act,” seeks to make marriage only between men and women, and deem all others “parody marriages.”
The act, sponsored by six Republican assemblymembers, was filed around Valentine’s Day — alongside a nearly identical bill in Wyoming submitted on the actual holiday. The South Carolina legislation states officials are currently “prohibited from favoring or endorsing religion over non-religion” and “the State of South Carolina’s decision to respect, endorse, and recognize parody marriages and sexual orientation policies has excessively entangled the government with the religion of Secular Humanism,” which refers to a nontheistic belief system based on moral values, rather than religious doctrine. The proposed legislation also argues that sexual orientation is not genetic, but rather is “a matter of faith.”
“Whatever someone does in their own time and in their own home is their business, but when it comes to the government in the state, we have to have policies that are nonreligious or secular in nature,” the bill’s main sponsor, State Rep. Steven Long, R-Spartanburg told The Post and Courier.
Chis Sevier, an antigay marriage attorney, designed the bill. Sevier previously sued states for the right to marry his laptop computer in protest of marriage equality. “We’re not saying homosexuality should be illegal, we’re saying the state shouldn’t give them special benefits based on them self-identifying as homosexuals,” he told The Post and Courier.
In his opinion, the right to marry is one of those special benefits. He believes the term “parody marriage” accurately represents same-sex unions because any marriage other than one between a man and woman is a mockery or “an impersonation of actual marriage.”
SC Equality, the largest LGBT rights organization in South Carolina, condemned the bill on Monday as a “bigoted and narrow-minded attempt to legalize discrimination.”