In South Carolina and Tennessee, legislators have put forward a legal argument more commonly associated with the Civil War: nullification.
They assert that the Supreme Court violated the rights of individual states when it overturned their bans on same-sex marriage in last year. In fact, the bills seem to be copied from the same model policy.
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“They are usually an attempt to enshrine a right to discriminate in state law,” she said.
Opponents fear that these bills would allow business owners to refuse to serve individuals based on their sexual orientation. The National Collegiate Athletic Association threatened to move the Final Four men’s basketball tournament from Indianapolis; the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the National Football League also criticized the move.
Since people in those states voted to ban the practice, they argue, the high court’s ruling can be ignored. 4513, also includes sectarian language, “[T]he founders of America recognized that the rights of mankind find their source in the created order,” it reads, adding that “natural marriage, consistent with the created order, and the law of nature and nature’s God, has always consisted of one man and one woman.” The Supreme Court’s verdict, it says, “flies in the face of reality, the created order, and the law of nature.”It’s nearly identical to Tennessee’s H. Both cite long-dead English jurist Sir William Blackstone – a Christian figure favored by another Religious Right celebrity, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) told his church, Woodmont Bible Church in Nashville, that he believes he is “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.“I believe that the bill that we are trying to put out right now is to say, ‘No, it will not happen here! No legal precedent supports the idea that a state may refuse to enforce a Supreme Court verdict, so these attempts at nullification are doomed to fail.
It’s the same argument Southern states trumpeted as justification for their decision to secede from the Union, and again when they resisted desegregation. Both refer to “the created order” and “nature’s God.” And both, experts say, are unlikely to survive a legal challenge if they ever become law. More savvy opponents of marriage equality know this and are focusing on erecting roadblocks to marriage for same-sex couples.
Advocates like Garrett don’t intend to let those tactics succeed.