Republican Sen. Robert C. Conners in South Carolina is facing a tough spot on the issue of whether to introduce a bill banning same-sex marriage in the state.
“I don’t think the courts can be held responsible for the states decisions,” said Rep. John Whitmire (R-Ocala), who co-sponsored the bill.
“I don.t think we should have to go through the courts.
I think that’s a bad precedent.”
It’s not the first time the lawmaker has spoken out against the legalization of gay marriage in South Carolinas.
In 2010, he said the law should not be interpreted as discriminating against gays.
And in a 2015 interview, he called the law a “disgrace” and said it should be repealed.
“This is not a bill that should be put into law, and we’re not going to get it passed,” he said.
“The state has an obligation to protect its citizens.
And the state has a right to make decisions, and it’s my belief that South Carolina should respect the rights of its citizens, and to respect the state of Alabama.”
The Republican lawmaker, who is the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he’s considering a series of amendments to the bill to ensure it would not be unconstitutional.
“In my view, it should not,” he told reporters Thursday.
“And there’s a lot of people out there who have a different view.
We’re going to look at the issues and come up with the best solution that is best for the people of South Carolina.”
The bill faces a tough path to passage, as it would likely face a veto from Gov.
Nikki Haley (R), who has indicated she would veto the measure if it passes.
But the lawmaker’s stance is likely to give pause to gay rights advocates, who believe a repeal of the ban could help make it easier for states to ban same-gender marriages.
“If this bill does get through, it’s going to be hard to get a majority vote in the House of Representatives, and that’s going not a good sign,” said Brian Deese, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Freedom to Marry program.
“We have a bill on the floor of the Senate, and the governor is going to veto it.
It’s a very difficult road to get to the floor,” Deese said.
“We have to get the legislation through the House and get it signed by the governor.
That’s a difficult road, but we have a better chance of passing this if the bill passes.”