What 'Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act' could mean for SC’s LGBT rights
The day after Valentine’s Day, six South Carolina legislators introduced a bill to the House that would amend the definition of what constitutes marriage in the Palmetto State.
The “Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act” was introduced Feb. 15 and would draw a line between what its sponsors deem is “marriage” and what is considered “parody marriage.”
According to the bill, “ ‘parody marriage’ means any form of marriage that does not involve one man and one woman. ‘Marriage’ means a union of one man and one woman.”
By that definition, any LGBT marriage would be a “parody marriage.” That wasn’t well received by Jeff March, president of SC Pride.
“Pure prejudice is what that is. Pure outright prejudice,” March said, according to wach.com.
The State House representatives sponsoring the bill are all Republicans, and include:
Their bill would “prohibit the state from respecting, endorsing, or recognizing any ‘parody marriage’ policy or policies that treat sexual orientation as a suspect class; and for other purposes,” according to its summary on scstatehouse.gov.
Essentially, the bill would make it so South Carolina would not legally recognize any marriage not between one man and one woman.
“It’s true that people can do whatever they want in their own homes, but they can’t force that on the state,” Long said, according to wach.com.
The bill goes on to read, “Marriage between and man and a woman arose out of the nature of things and marriage between a man and a woman is natural, neutral, and noncontroversial, unlike parody forms of marriage.”
The sponsors of the bill argue that “parody marriages” and “sexual orientation policies” have created a legal mess for the state of South Carolina and that they have turned into a “legal weapon” being used against people who object to “parody marriages.”
They go on to say that while there has been no “land rush on gay marriage,” it has had other detrimental effects. Specifically, “the persecution of nonobservers,” and an effort by believers and practitioners of “parody marriage” to “infiltrate and indoctrinate minors in public schools to their religious world view which is questionably moral, plausible, obscene.”
The bill was referred to Committee on Judiciary on Feb. 15. Should it be passed into law as currently written it would mean:
▪ South Carolina would no longer respect, endorse, or recognize any form of “parody marriage” policy.
▪ South Carolina would no longer enforce, recognize, or respect any policy that treats sexual orientation as a suspect class.
▪ South Carolina will continue to enforce, endorse, and recognize marriages between a man and a woman.
“We’re not trying to impersonate anyone here. We are trying to be the equal of everyone here. It’s written with hate. I can’t imagine there are state officials that put this in writing,” March said, according to wach.com.
Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act
Sponsors: Reps. Long, Chumley, Burns, McCravy, Magnuson and Martin
Introduced in the House on February 15, 2018
Currently residing in the House Committee on Judiciary
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 20-1-110 SO AS TO ENACT THE “MARRIAGE AND CONSTITUTION RESTORATION ACT”; TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS, INCLUDING “PARODY MARRIAGE” AND “MARRIAGE”; TO PROVIDE THAT PARODY MARRIAGE POLICIES ARE NONSECULAR IN NATURE; TO PROHIBIT THE STATE FROM RESPECTING, ENDORSING, OR RECOGNIZING ANY PARODY MARRIAGE POLICY OR POLICIES THAT TREAT SEXUAL ORIENTATION AS A SUSPECT CLASS; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Whereas, parody marriages and parody marriage policies are nonsecular for the purposes of the Establishment Clause; and
Whereas, marriages between a man and a woman and policies that endorse marriage between a man and a woman are secular in nature for purposes of the Establishment Clause; and
Whereas, civilizations for millennia have defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman; and
Whereas, marriage between and man and a woman arose out of the nature of things and marriage between a man and a woman is natural, neutral, and noncontroversial, unlike parody forms of marriage; and
Whereas, the State of South Carolina has a duty under Article VI of the United States Constitution to uphold the United States Constitution; and
Whereas, the First Amendment applies to the State of South Carolina through the Fourteenth Amendment; and
Whereas, the First Amendment, not the Fourteenth Amendment, has exclusive jurisdiction over which types of marriages the State can endorse, respect, and recognize; and
Whereas, all forms of parody marriage and all self-asserted sex-based identity narratives and sexual orientations that fail to check out the human design are part of the religion of Secular Humanism; and
Whereas, the United States Supreme Court has found that Secular Humanism is a religion for the purpose of the Establishment Clause in Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488 (1961), and Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987); and
Whereas, the State of South Carolina is prohibited from favoring or endorsing religion over nonreligion; and
Whereas, 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, failed to accomplish its intended purpose, and created an indefensible legal weapon against nonobservers; and
Whereas, in the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), there has not been a land rush on gay marriage, but there has been a land rush on the persecution of nonobservers by Secular Humanists and an effort by Secular Humanists to infiltrate and indoctrinate minors in public schools to their religious world view which is questionably moral, plausible, obscene, and is not secular; and
Whereas, it is unsettled whether or not sexual orientation is immutable or genetic and is therefore a matter of faith; and
Whereas, parody marriages have never been a part of American tradition and heritage; and
Whereas, parody marriage policies and sexual orientation statutes are nonsecular and policies that respect, endorse, and recognize a marriage between a man and a woman are secular, accomplishing its intended objective. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. This act may be known and cited as the “Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act”.
SECTION 2. Article 1, Chapter 1, Title 20 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
“Section 20-1-110. (A) For purposes of this section,
(1) ‘Parody marriage’ means any form of marriage that does not involve one man and one woman.
(2) ‘Nonsecular policy’ means state action which endorses, respects, and recognizes the beliefs of a particular religion where the preeminent and primary force driving the state’s action is not genuine, but a sham that ultimately has a primary religious objective.
(3) ‘Secular policy’ means state action that is natural, neutral, noncontroversial and that is based on self-evident truth. Secular policy accomplishes its goals and purposes. State action where the preeminent and primary force driving the policy is genuine, not a sham, and not merely secondary to a religious objective.
(4) ‘Sexual orientation’ means a self-asserted sex-based identity narrative that is based on a series of naked assertions and unproven faith-based assumptions that are implicitly religious.
(5) ‘Marriage’ means a union of one man and one woman.
(B)(1) In view of the First Amendment’s Freedom of Expression Clause of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895:
(a) any person living in South Carolina can cultivate any self-asserted sex-based identity narrative or self-asserted sexual orientation at will, even if it does not check out with the human design as a matter of self-evident observation.
(b) any person can conduct any form of marriage ceremony and other rituals that accords with their self-asserted sexual orientation and live as married persons do, as long as the ceremonies do not conflict with other parts of the South Carolina Code and federal law.
(2) In view of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895:
(a) the State of South Carolina shall no longer respect, endorse, or recognize any form of parody marriage policy because parody marriage policies are nonsecular.
(b) the State of South Carolina shall no longer enforce, recognize, or respect any policy that treats sexual orientation as a suspect class because all such statutes lack a secular purpose.
(C) The State of South Carolina will continue to enforce, endorse, and recognize marriages between a man and a woman because such marriage policies are secular, accomplishing nonreligious objectives.”
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
SOURCE: South Carolina General Assembly, 122nd Session, 2017-2018