We know opponents of marriage equality haven't taken the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling as the final word on the issue. They've launched all kinds of measures to dilute or even undo our freedom to marry.
Now legislators in South Carolina have authored a bill that would refer to the unions of anyone other than one man and one woman as a "parody marriage."
The Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act aims 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.)
The bill cites the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which bars the creation of a national religion, to justify itself. (Yeah, we don't get it, either.)
1. The State of South Carolina shall no longer respect, endorse, or recognize any form of parody marriage policy because parody marriage policies are nonsecular.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Sent to committee on February 15, 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.
Long claimed acceptance of marriage equality as a form of religion, "a secular humanism or moral relativism advance above any type of nonreligious policy."
"It's true that people can do whatever they want in their own homes," he added, "but they can't force that on the state."
Jeff March, president of South Carolina Pride told Fox 57 the measure was "pure outright prejudice."
I can't imagine there are state officials that put this in writing," he said.