April 2018 Church & State Magazine - April 2018

Two States Consider ‘Parody Marriage’ Bills

  Rokia Hassanein

In a new attempt to undermine the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, state legislators in South Carolina and Wyoming have introduced bills that would declare valid marriages as existing only between one man and one woman – other marriages would be unlawful.

Under these bills, all marriages that are not between one man and one woman would be classified as “parody marriages.” Such marriages would, in turn, be illegal because they are allegedly “non-secular” and part of the “religion of Secular Humanism.”

Chris Sevier, an anti-LGBTQ rights activist, said other states may also consider the measure. 

Rob Boston, Americans United’s director of communi­cations, criticized the latest effort by the Religious Right to discriminate against LGBTQ people in a Feb. 22 “Wall of Separation” blog post.

“Proposals like this create an atmosphere that leads some people to believe that it’s all right to treat others like second-class citizens because they don’t measure up to someone else’s dogma,” Boston wrote. “We’ve seen the results of this. Across the country, the rights of the LGBTQ community are under relentless assault, and so-called ‘religious freedom’ bills that would sanction dis­crim­ination in the name of religion continue to surface in the states.”


As Supreme Court Entertains Attack On Civil Rights Laws In 303 Creative, Americans United Reminds Nation Of What’s At Stake

Americans United for Separation of Church and State joined 29 religious freedom organizations in filing an amicus brief that explained how anti-discrimination laws like Colorado’s protect religious minorities as well as LGBTQ people and customers with other protected characteristics, such as race, sex, age and ability.

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