One State Representative Says God Told Him To File The Legislation
Same-sex marriage is as bad as forced sterilization and Japanese internment, according to anti-gay bills introduced in South Carolina and Tennessee.Â
Both bills seek to nullify the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which found that state-level bans on same-sex marriage violate the equal protection and due process clauses of the federal Constitution.Â
The South Carolina and Tennessee bills, both called "Natural Marriage Defense Act[s]," wouldÂ bar state officials from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couplesÂ â€” thereby effectively "unmarrying" thousands of people. They would also make it illegal for state officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and require the two states' attorneys general to defend any official who is sued, or ordered by a federal judge to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
"[T]he United States Supreme Court is not infallible and has issued lawless decisions which are repulsive to the Constitution and natural law, including Buck v. Bell, Korematsu v. United States, Roe v. Wade, and, most recently,Â Obergefell v. Hodges," the Tennessee bill states.Â
The South Carolina bill contains an identical clause.Â
Buck v. Bell was a 1927 decision in which the high court upheld a Virginia statute permittingÂ compulsory sterilizationÂ of the unfit, "for the protection and health of the state." Korematsu v. United States was aÂ decision upholding theÂ constitutionality ofÂ Executive Order 9066, which orderedÂ Japanese AmericansÂ intoÂ internment campsÂ duringÂ World War IIÂ regardless of citizenship.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I believe Iâ€™m supposed to be speaking to the unsaved, to the people that are performing same-sex marriages, to the people involved in same-sex marriage, it is wicked, it is wrong and I am doing the best I can to warn them,â€ Pody said in a video posted online by Right Wing Watch. "I believe that Nashville, Tennessee, is the time and the place that we put down the stake and we say, 'No more!'"
The South Carolina bill, HB 5413,Â is authored by GOPÂ Reps. Bill Chumley and Mike Burns. Last year, Chumley blamed the nine victims of the Charleston church shooting for their own deaths, suggesting that they should have been carrying guns to defend themselves.
"I represent the people, and the people have shown several times that they are opposed to this, and are in favor of traditional marriage," Chumley told The Spartanburg Herald Journal, adding thatÂ the high court's 5-4 split on the issue was indicative of the views of all Americans.Â "Apparently, those four people believe like we do. I do believe that something that's a close vote like that sends a message, it's not cut and dry."
However, University of South Carolina law professor Derek Black explained that under the supremacy clause,Â state officials don't have the authority to nullify federal laws or court rulings.Â
"It is the task of courts to interpret the Constitution and it is the task of legislators to act in accordance with the Constitution and other validly enacted laws," Black said. "States may challenge those federal laws and Constitutional interpretations in court. But at this point, the courts have spoken on this particular issue." Â