The issue of marriage equality in South Carolina has been settled at least for now. Barring a different decision from the Supreme Court later this year, gay and lesbian South Carolinians fairly won the right to marry. And that should be the end of that.
However, don't break the news to the sparse group of folks who assembled earlier today at the State House. They assembled in support of a bill which they hope would stop marriage equality, no matter what the courts say. The bill, proposed by SC State Rep. Bill Chumley, would defund gay marriage in the state and punish state employees who issue or recognize same-sex marriage licenses
Their argument, which was repeated continuously by various speakers from the stage, including Chumley and State Sen. Lee Bright, was that the federal government was overstepping its bounds and interfering with the sovereignty of South Carolinians who voted overwhelmingly to ban marriage equality in 2006.
What the crowd, made mostly of elderly South Carolinians, lacked in numbers, they made up for greatly in enthusiasm, particularly when speakers talked about an "over-reaching" federal government.
But much of their roars and cheers were reserved when other speakers talked about "being forced to legislate sin" or traditional morality or how marriage equality would lead to polygamy or marriage between adults and children. Unfortunately, when it came to that sort of rhetoric, some state legislators speaking at the rally (i.e. Sen. Bright) forgot the dignity of their position and went extremely buck wild to fire up the crowd.
And that unfortunate tone of the rally stood out. It was a schizophrenic affair on a cold afternoon which, on one hand, would talk about "Christian love" for lgbts. Then , without warning, words such as "perversion" or "sodomite" peppered the air, accompanied by insults leveled not only against lgbts but also their families. And also when speakers, such as Brian Camenker from the SPLC-designated hate group Mass Resistance, spun horror stories about marriage equality in Massachusetts, the crowd egged them on with a sort of vulgar enthusiasm.
Chumley's bill is presently in committee but rally supporters hope to call state reps in order to change that. Names of state representatives to call were given out from the stage. That is in between talks of sodomy, showing "compassion" for gays, attacks on same-sex families, and veiled threats against the federal government.