North Carolina Lawmakers Still Trying to Ban Marriage Equality: 'Tell it To Satan!'

Four years after Obergefell v. Hodges, Republicans in North Carolina are still not fighting to stop marriage equality. And they have a message for supporters of LGBT rights: "Tell it to Satan."

Introduced in the state assembly in February, HB 65, the Marriage Reaffirmation Amendment Act, would revive North Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage, approved by voters in 2012, and render Obergefell null and void and unenforceable. The measure would alsoprohibit civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.

The bill also includes language that defines same-sex unions as "parody marriage" and claims "self-asserted sex-based identity narratives and sexual orientations that do not follow the scientifically obvious biology of the human species are inseparably part of the religion of Secular Humanism."

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A 2012 voter referendum banning same-sex marriage was invalidated by the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling bringing marriage equality to all 50 states. Getty Images

In a statement in February, Equality NC slammed HB 65 as "yet another heartless attempt to rewrite settled legislation that protects same-sex couples all across the state."

The bill has virtually no chance of success: Even if it passed, Democrat governor Roy Cooper has expressed his opposition to it, and Republican don't have the votes to override a veto. But a reader of Hemant Mehta's Friendly Atheist blog, identified as "Leo," still wanted the bill's sponsors to know that "the people of NC have still not forgotten your ignorant and unconstitutional pandering to the "old fashioned" intolerant evangelicals."

"America was founded on freedoms and personal liberty," Leo wrote in a note to
Reps. Larry Pittman and Michael Speciale, two of HB 65's Republican authors. "Two people getting married in no way affects me or my life and nor does it affect yours. The fact you have to keep yourself relevant by way of pandering to intolerant old people who think the Bible should be the law of the land is shameful."

Surprisingly Both Pittman and Speciale responded to Leo's email.

"I have not forgotten that the NC Republican Party Platform calls on us to uphold the Marriage amendment," Pittman replied. "I have not forgotten that God is perfect, and therefore has no need to 'change with the times,' and is, therefore, not 'old fashioned,' nor is His Word."

"If you have a complaint about that," he added, "tell it to Satan when you see him."

Speciale maintained that North Carolinians overwhelmingly voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman. "The Supreme Court got it wrong by inserting their liberal desires ahead of the job they were appointed to do."

"I don't pander to anyone, and your ignorance of the Constitution is evident," Speciale added. "You seem to have no problem perverting the Constitution to serve your own interests, but I am here to protect the liberties and freedoms of all citizens, and that includes not legitimizing every perverted act that people may decide to enter into."

It's not the first time the two lawmakers have taken on marriage equality. They proposed a similar bill, the Uphold Historical Marriage Act, in 2017 but then-House Speaker Tim Moore refused to hold a vote on the measure.

When a Facebook commenter told Pittman marriage equality was the law of the land and he should "get over it," Pittman asked, "If Hitler had won, should the world just get over it?"

He then compared Abraham Lincoln to Hitler, calling the 16th president a "tyrant" who was "personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,00 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional."