[image-1] The inflammatory “Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act” introduced by six Upstate Republicans in the state House last month has already lost a sponsor.
Rep. Rick Martin (R-Newberry) removed himself from the list of sponsors on Feb. 22, according to the bill’s history.
The bill was introduced on Feb. 15 and quickly referred to the House Judiciary Committee. It claims that gay marriages are unconstitutional because they are “part of the religion of Secular Humanism,” and seeks to delegitimize them in state by calling them “parody marriages.”
It calls straight marriage “natural, neutral, and noncontroversial.”
It was originally sponsored by Reps. Marin, Seven Long (R-Spartanburg), Bill Chumley (R-Spartanburg), Mike Burns (R-Greenville), John McCravy (R-Greenwood), and Josiah Magnuson (R-Spartanburg), all of whom are up for re-election in 2018.
The bill’s co-author, Chris Sevier, says efforts are underway for similar bills in Kansas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.
“This session, the act will be introduced so the law makers [sic] can get used to the idea that the government will get out of the gay marriage business because it violates Lemon [test] and the Establishment clause,” Sevier said in a message to CP. “For a single cosponsor to recoil in the face of harassment shows that gay marriage policy is a sham.”
Sevier, previously known for suing states for the right to marry his computer, also co-wrote a similar bill filed in the Wyoming House of Representatives. It was not considered for an introduction vote on Feb. 16 and has remained stagnant since.
Gay marriage was effectively legalized in all 50 states after the Supreme Court declared that the right to marry was granted to all couples under the 14th Amendment in Obergefell v. Hodges in June 2015.
Reps. Martin and Long did not respond to multiple requests for comment.