The definition of marriage could soon have a new meaning in South Carolina, and it’s causing some backlash.
Six upstate lawmakers have introduced the “Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act.” If passed, the bill would only recognize marriage as an union between one man and one woman.
The bill defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Any union outside of that, including same-sex marriage, would be considered a “parody marriage” and not be respected, endorsed or recognized by the state.
Members of the LGBT community say the proposal promotes discrimination.
“This bill is just giving people another reason to say yes to hate,” said Rachel Wood who has been in a relationship with her girlfriend for 10 years.
Republican Representative Steven Long, a sponsor of the bill, said the proposal is about putting an end to the legal mess he believes non-traditional marriages have created.
“We have situations where people are losing businesses and losing jobs, said Rep. Long. “All because they have a different standard of beliefs.”
Rep. Long also said the legalization of gay marriage violates First Amendment rights and forces people to accept the unions of LGBT members against their will.
“We can’t promote any kind of religious beliefs or non-religion policy”, said Rep. Long. “When somebody tries to force their beliefs on others and force the state to support those practices that’s a violation of the first amendment.”
Wood said she hopes the bill does not pass.
“It’s not a legal mess. It’s just people wanting to justify their hatred. Look at what HB2 did for North Carolina,” said Wood. “South Carolina cannot afford to lose tourist dollars over a ridiculous bill.”
A similar bill was filed in Wyoming on Valentine’s Day but has not moved out of committee.