Craig Northcott, a district attorney in Tennessee’s Coffee County, recently said that he wouldn’t enforce the state’s domestic violence laws in cases of abuse between same-sex spouses because he doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage, according to NBC News.
In a recently unearthed 2018 video, a constituent asks Northcott how Christians should react to the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage. His response was shocking.
Referring to the makeup of the Supreme Court, Northcott said, “Five people in black dresses rule us — it just takes five votes, it doesn’t take all nine.” Then he continues:
“DAs have what’s called prosecutorial discretion. Y’all need to know who your DA is. Y’all give us a lot of authority whether you know it or not, We can choose to prosecute anything, we can choose not to prosecute anything, up to and including murder. It’s our choice, unfettered.”
“So, to deal with that, you elect a good Christian man as DA, and you’ll make sure at least [Christians] don’t get prosecuted criminally. Y’all know what assault is? There’s a subcategory of assault called domestic assault. But a domestic assault carries more punishment: You forever lose the right to own a gun under federal and state law, you have restrictions on your movement that you otherwise wouldn’t have under what we call ‘simple assault’ and there are other enhanced punishments.”
“So the social engineers on the Supreme Court decided that we now have homosexual marriage. I disagree with them. What do I do with domestic assaults? One hand, I don’t prosecute them, because I don’t recognize it as marriage, on the other hand, if I don’t prosecute them, then the sinner, the immoral guy, gets less punishment, what do you do?”
Keep in mind, what Northcott is basically saying is that the would allow same-sex couples to abuse one another — even if this abuse involved rape, physical injuries or economic manipulation — just because he himself doesn’t personally recognize the legal reality, handed down by the largest court in the land, that same-sex couples can legally marry. It’s a gross abdication of his legal responsibilities and a gross admission of bias that is repugnant from anyone who works in “justice.”
Unsurprisingly, Tennessee’s Republican party hasn’t said anything about Northcott’s comments, but LGBTQ allies are asking him to resign.
A 2013 CDC study found that intimate partner violence among gay, bi and lesbian couples happens at at least the same rate as heterosexual couples, possibly higher, not that Northcutt cares.