STATE: "Parody Marriages" Label Is Criticized
SC Equality Blasts “Bigoted” Bill to Redefine Same-Sex Marriages in SC
Bill would label same-sex marriages as “parody marriages”
Columbia – Last week, Representative Steven Wayne Long (R- District 37) and a group of Republican legislators filed a bill to prohibit the state of South Carolina from recognizing same-sex marriages.
“The Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act” (H-4949) seeks to amend South Carolina law to separate nuptials into “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.” (In American law, a “suspect class” is a group more likely to be the subject of discrimination.)
Jeff Ayers, executive director of SC Equality, the state’s largest LGBT rights organization, condemned the bill and called on legislators to take a stand by calling this bill what it is, a bigoted and narrow-minded attempt to legalize discrimination.
“This is nothing more than an attempt by a first-term representative to pander to his far-right base in an election year,” said Ayers. “Bills like this are hateful, discriminatory and only make it more difficult to recruit new business to South Carolina. The LGBT community and our allies will not stand silently as Representative Long and the Keystone Cop Caucus paints a picture of South Carolina that is full of discrimination and bigotry. This issue has been settled by the United States Supreme Court. But if this bill were to pass, our lawyers are standing by to challenge it in the courts and the state will lose.”
Bill was sent to the House Judiciary Committee on February 15th. The measure has been sponsored by six Republican lawmakers: Reps. Steven Wayne Long, Bill Chumley, and Rep. Josiah Magnuson of Spartanburg; Rep Mike Burns of Greenville, Rep John McCravy of Greenwood and Rick Martin of Newberry.
South Carolina Equality is a non-profit organization with the mission to secure equal civil and human rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender South Carolinians and their families, and has a vision of a South Carolina where everyone is equal.
ACLU of South Carolina Comment on Bill to Undercut Marriage Rights of Same-Sex Couples
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2018
Contact: Shaundra Y. Scott, Esq., ACLU of South Carolina, 843-720-1423, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Six members of the South Carolina House of Representatives have introduced legislation in the Judiciary Committee that purports to undercut the rights of same-sex couples to marriage equality. The “Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act” would define marriage as a “union between a man and a woman,” and amend state law to term unions of same-sex couples as “parody marriages.”
Shaundra Young Scott, executive director of the ACLU of South Carolina, had the following reaction:
“This bill is an absurd insult to the gay and lesbian families of South Carolina, and their children. Marriage equality is settled law, affirmed in 2015 by the United States Supreme Court. The authors use a ridiculous legal argument in a blatant attempt to roll back the rights of LGBTQ citizens. The real parody here is not marriages of same-sex couples, but the introduction of the ‘Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act’ as any kind of governing. This should die in committee, and we call on members of the South Carolina House to ensure that this bill never becomes law.”
This statement can be viewed online here: