June 11, 2015 at 10:28 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
N.C. legislature overrides governor on anti-gay marriage bill

North Carolina, State Capitol, Raleigh, Gay News, Washington Blade

North Carolina State Capitol by Jim Bowen via Wikimedia Commons.

The North Carolina legislature has succeeded in overriding Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of controversial legislation that would enable magistrates to opt out of performing marriages to which they have religious objection, including a same-sex union.

The override succeeded in the House on Thursday by a vote of 69-41, which is three votes more than the three-fifths vote needed for the legislative maneuver. The Senate already succeeded in overriding the veto last week by a vote of 32-16.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2, would enable magistrates and registers of deeds to opt out of issuing marriage licenses for a period of at least six months to same-sex couples — or any couple — based on a religious objection.

McCrory, a Republican who opposes same-sex marriage, vetoed the bill after the legislature initially sent it to him earlier this month, saying “no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath.”

Although the legislation doesn’t explicitly mention same-sex marriage and would require a magistrate to abstain from performing marriages until a recusal is rescinded, opponents of the bill say the legislation would have a discriminatory impact on same-sex couples.

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the pro-LGBT Campaign for Southern Equality, predicted LGBT advocates would seek to challenge the law in the courts.

“Senate Bill 2 is unconstitutional, and will undoubtedly be challenged in court,” Beach-Ferrara said. “This bill, which will now become law, is discriminatory and treats gay and lesbian couples as second class citizens. We are more determined than ever to achieve full equality for LGBT people in North Carolina and to ensure that LGBT youth know that they are not alone.”

Same-sex marriage is legal in North Carolina as a result of a federal court decision last year against the state’s prohibition on gay nuptials known as Amendment One. By the end of this month, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a decision on whether same-sex couples have the right to marry across the country.

Jake Sussman, an attorney with the Charlotte-based Tin Fulton Walker & Owen and lead counsel in the North Carolina marriage case, said the new law also runs contrary to the U.S. Constitution.

“This law is nothing more than state sanctioned discrimination,” Sussman said. “It is a terribly misguided attempt to rewrite what equal protection under the law means. Equality and fairness are not principles that are decided on a case-by-case basis, dependent upon who happens to be working the counter on a particular day. Neither the United States Constitution nor the North Carolina Constitution permit any such thing. It is terribly unfortunate that this many elected officials don’t understand that.”

A religious freedom bill seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination in Indiana earlier this year garnered significant media attention and business opposition that led to a change to the law, the same opposition is lacking in North Carolina. The top three companies headquartered in North Carolina — Bank of America, BB&T and Belk — didn’t come out against SB2 when contacted by the Blade about the legislation, nor did the North Carolina Chamber.

Neither the White House nor the campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton responded to requests to comment on Senate Bill 2.

Sarah Preston, acting executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina, lambasted the legislature for overriding the governor’s veto on the legislation.

“This a sad day for North Carolina that history will not judge kindly,” Preston said. “Just eight months after our state extended the freedom to marry to same-sex couples, extremist lawmakers have passed discrimination into law, allowing government officials to deny marriage services to virtually any couple. This shameful backlash against equality will make it harder for all couples in our state to marry and force many to spend what is supposed to be a happy day trapped in a maze of government offices.

Also opposing the enactment of Senate Bill 2 and suggesting the measure is unconstitutional was Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, the first openly gay person elected as mayor of the city.

“I condemn today’s N.C. House override of the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2,” Kleinschmidt said. “Now the law in North Carolina, Senate Bill 2 carves out a constitutional exception to a public servant’s duty to provide equal access and justice under the law. All North Carolinians now have the possibility of being denied the services of a magistrate or register of deeds. Couples that include a divorced person, interracial couples, couples from different faiths, as well as same-sex couples have historically faced condemnation based on the religious beliefs of others.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • They use all the usual left buzz words…history judging us…extremists…discrimination. Special rights for me but none for thee…

    • You mean like the special right of marriage which only hetero couples should be allowed to have, according to this Bill?

      • Jhary… nice job of demagoguery there… you should be proud.

        • Might want to learn the definition of demagogue, Bob. Sort of like it is NOT a special right if one group is looking to have the same rights as another group. That’s actually called “equality”. I mean, I’m all for allowing this idea to spread across Carolina, the clerks at stores could stop serving people because it’s the Sabbath and you aren’t to shop on the Sabbath.

          • You might want to learn the definition of marriage.

          • (a) Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil
            contract between two persons, to which the consent of the parties
            capable of making that contract is necessary. Consent alone does not
            constitute marriage. Consent must be followed by the issuance of a
            license and solemnization as authorized by this division, except as
            provided by Section 425 and Part 4 (commencing with Section 500).
            (b) For purposes of this part, the document issued by the county
            clerk is a marriage license until it is registered with the county
            recorder, at which time the license becomes a marriage certificate.

          • Talk about “learning”, try reading the Bill…this has absolutely nothing to “clerks at a store”, ergo your demagoguery is on display on that point.

          • Exactly that it has nothing to do with clerks in a store. I said that. Yet again, another who doesn’t understand the word demagogue. I was pointing out that why not allow the IDEA behind this bill to spread to other areas in Carolina if it’s truly about protecting Christian values, which it isn’t.

          • Ah, here comes the straw man’s argument. You said “this idea” and in that context, you would have to have been referring to the States decision to provide a “religious accommodation” to their employees. So….your analogy of clerks refusing to serve people was incorrect. Indeed, the Bill requires all couples to receive the same level of service. Again, try reading and understanding the Bill.

          • You might want to check the definition of demagoguery yourself Jhary…

            “to treat or manipulate (a political issue) in the manner of a demagogue; obscure or distort with emotionalism, prejudice, etc.”

            No where in this bill does it say gays can’t marry… and Chuck… no where in the Bill of Rights does it even mention marriage, let alone gay marriage.

            Yeah, I’d say you guys are distorting the facts of this decision… which makes you guilty of demagoguery.

            Nice try…

      • That is blatantly untrue…try reading the Bill. It requires that “all” marriages be performed.

    • You might be a bigot it: you believe discrimination is just a “lefty buzz word”.

    • Look, if you’re hired to do a job, do the job. If you morally object to doing the job, get fired. Nobody should pay you to sit on your hands morally objecting to something. Especially not with public funds.

      • Performing marriages is but a small part of a magistrates duties. Those
        that recuse will simply be assigned more of the many other duties and
        more marriages will be performed by those who do not opt out. The Bill
        requires that “all” marriages be performed.

        • Sorry man, being a jerk is not a protected class like disability. Your employer has every right to fire you if you want to pick and choose which duties of your job you deign worthy of your moral compass.

          • LOL, in case you didn’t notice, it is the Employer that is making this choice.

          • At the burden of the taxpayer, who must pay for two clerks in every town office, at least one of which is not a jerk. Otherwise, you have a wall of people who “morally object” to your legal right, essentially rendering that right unobtainable. Still doesn’t hold up. If you want to be town clerk, do your job and issue marriage licenses to legal applicant who you dislike. Quit whining. It’s not that bloody hard. I’m sure they do it all the time now for sinners everywhere.

          • Again, try reading the Bill. If the “magistrates can’t keep up the Circuit and District Courts must perform in the interim. We still live in a Democratic Republic, and it was the “taxpayers” that voted in the legislature. If you don’t like it, go vote and quit your whining.

          • Towns are honor bound to provide services using public funds responsibly. In the year 2015, nobody expects towns to hire a clerk for racially similar couples and another one for mixed race marriages. And they would be honor bound to fire any clerk who didn’t issue a license to a mixed race couple. It’s a legal marriage, and it’s really beside the point if you have a strong moral objection to not being racist. It’s illegal to discriminate among legal marriages based on your personal preferences.

            And don’t mistake, at the time when inter-racial marriage was made legal, many did hold that strongly-held, RELIGIOUS belief. Did it very likely happen that many inter-racial couples were turned away from clerk’s offices with no repercussions on that clerk. Probably? Does that make it right or ok to do in other contexts? No.

            If you want to keep SSM illegal, go ahead and try for that. You should. It’s an important debate. Once it is legal, you’ve got to provide that legal right to people if that’s your job. This flailing around and sulking is a childish tantrum thrown because you lost the real fight. You can take your ball and go home if you want, but you can’t stand on the pitcher’s mound disrupting the game for everybody else.

          • Sound and fury, signifying nothing. Try reading and understanding the Bill. It requires that “all” marriages be performed and SSM couples will receive the same “service” that other couple do. Is it possible that some MAY violate? Perhaps, but according to the Bill that is cause for dismissal from employment.

  • Let the boycotts begin! And, believe me, they will. North Carolina will pay dearly for this.

  • If your religious beliefs prevent you from doing your job without discriminating, you’re in the wrong job.

    • Or perhaps you have the wrong religious beliefs, but probably better to stay away from that one.

    • Nobody would accept a pig slaughterer, hired to slaughter pigs, who morally objected to harming pigs. Nobody would pay them to sit on their hands not doing their job. They’d need to go find a different job, one that doesn’t compromise their moral objections.

      You are hired to approve legal marriages, do your job. You are hired to dispense medicine according to a doctor’s orders, do your job. You are hired to run a hospital to provide medical services to the public, do your job. Don’t sit on your hands taking money (PUBLIC money in many cases) for not doing your job. Go find a job you can do without getting your delicate panties in a twist.

      And get your fake moral objections off my lawn: http://www.flowerhorne.com/blog/2013/11/26/get-your-fake-conscience-objections-off-my-lawn

      • Bad analogy…performing marriages is but a small part of a magistrates duties. Those that recuse will simply be assigned more of the many other duties and more marriages will be performed by those who do not opt out. The Bill requires that “all” marriages be performed.

        • Unless too many opt out, in which case it then becomes a burden on those who don’t, and the people who want to be married.

        • Sorry man, being a jerk is not a protected class like disability. Your employer has every right to fire you if you want to pick and choose which duties of your job you deign worthy of your moral compass.

    • Well, first of all, SSM was not the law when they were hired. Secondly, it is the Employer, in this case the State, that defines the specific duties and how they are assigned and this is what they are doing…so what’s your real beef??

      • My beef is the fact that they are refusing to do their jobs in accordance with non-discrimination laws. The fact that laws change does not mean they can ignore them.
        They’re happy to accept public money, but refuse to obey public law.

        • Robert, the Court has indeed recognized the right; that is, the right to provide “religious accommodations” in accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as well as EEOC and SCOTUS rulings. Thank you.

        • Wrong, there is no discrimination…read the Bill. All couples will receive the same treatment. This Bill is the law and simply is a religious accommodation that is perfectly legal.

      • How about people who are paid by the tax payers do their jobs for ALL taxpayers.

        • cc423, all taxpayers will receive the same treatment under the Bill. Have you read the Bill? It is the taxpayers that voted in the legislature.

          • They are allowed to pick and choose who they will work with That is how this bill reads. And that is not how America works.

          • That is a false statement and if you really read the bill you would know this… cite the passage. Otherwise, stop your demagoguery.

          • Was this law created to “protect” these magistrates from straight couples? No it was not. It was created to punish gay tax paying American citizens. And to say anything else is 100% disingenuous.

          • cc423 – Still haven’t read the Bill I see. If you have, try telling us what the Bill says that allows the gay tax payer to be punished over the straight couples. Waiting……

          • I have read the bill. What am I missing? It clearly states that a Magistrate may recuse themselves from performing weddings if they have a sincerely held religious belief about denying that couple a wedding license. Hmmmm I wonder who they are directing this Bill at? Did they do this because they do not want Jews marrying Christians? Whites marrying blacks? No. This Bill was created in a backlash against gay marriage. If you think it was not, then you are either a liar or and idiot… Either way as far as I can see.

          • cc423, I can agree that there was some “revenge” factor here, but at the same time there was some attempt to retain employees to do the State’s business. Now any “punishment” as you put it, will befall straight couples equally. So while you can hypothesize the percentage of motivating factors among the various legislators, it really doesn’t offer much in the way of constructive criticism.

      • Their job duties aren’t frozen in time. In any case, the court recognizes rights, doesn’t create new ones.

        • Indeed, the Courts have recognized that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act allows for an employees “religious accommodation”, further supported by EEOC and SCOTUS rulings. Also available are claims for religious exemptions under the RFRA.

      • Their real beef is that someone, somewhere, doesn’t accept their whacko view of how things should be. To these people, it’s in-your-face, or you’re a homophobe.

  • Show me all the hateful bigots that are angry about this decision and I’ll show you a slew of Grindr profiles that they are hiding on their phones. Hate will not prevail in today’s world. Not anymore. The cruelty of the past will end nationwide before we know it. Ignorance is bliss as long as you stay on your country bumpkin dirty road and let the rest of us live with the general respect that any decent person should have for any other person that is different than them. You don’t have to accept it, but you do have to be tolerant of it. We have to tolerate religious nutjobs left and right with their baffling bullshit all day. Face it. Equality is winning and love is winning and watching the hate fester in the bible belt that can’t wake up and smell the roses is honestly nothing short of hilarious. Maybe take some of that hate and focus it inward to seek a better self.

  • This is what happens in reaction to frivolous lawsuits filed against the wedding industry. America is a free country, and while you’re free to get married, people are also free to have nothing to do with your marriage.

    But you’re not willing to stop there… because to you, that’s “discrimination.” Those photographer, bakery, and florist lawsuits show that you don’t just want freedom… you want the right to compel people to agree with you. And that is an “in your face” attitude that Americans will not tolerate.

    Too bad if you don’t like that. If you want the civil rights that come with marriage, you’re going to have to tolerate religious freedom and the individual right to dissent. Because the bottom line is this: Americans do not like to be compelled to do something they morally disagree with. And militant gays have tried to do just that… and are now facing the backlash.

    Too bad a few spoiled it… but wait. That’s not really what happened. Because I’ve been in this argument for a year or so, and every reply I’ve gotten has been, “if you’re not willing to serve a gay wedding, you shouldn’t be in business.”

    Wow; That’s freedom for ya there!! Obey me, or you don’t have any right to own a business. Hmmmm Think about it.

    • If you serve the public, you need to serve ALL of the public, as required by law.

      If same sex marriage is legal, then anyone who can marry people should be obligated to marry anyone who is eligible.

      • Nicholas; That’s just doubling down on the discrimination argument. “If you disagree with me, you don’t deserve a job in the public sector.” That is compulsion… not freedom.

        Oh, and you write, “then anyone who can marry people should be obligated to marry anyone who is eligible.” Would that include a priest or pastor of a Christian church? Are you telling us you think that gays should be able to sue a church for refusing to marry them?

        Apparently you didn’t think very long or very hard on the issues here… knee-jerk reaction at best.

        • You don’t understand how this works. A business MUST get a license to operate from the City. The City, as a government agency funded by public tax dollars, cannot establish a religion. Therefore, a public serving business operating under a City license cannot refuse service citing religious reasons. A person is free to practice their own religion as they please. A public serving business MUST operate in accordance with its City license, which among other things, generally requires service to all persons.

          Also, the act of baking a cake and selling it for money/profit under a City-approved business license has nothing to do with practicing one’s religion. They are completely unrelated things. So the religious freedom clause of the Constitution doesn’t even remotely apply.

          • Nice try, Erasure… but you’re still just doubling down on the idea that compulsion is okay.

          • Again, you fail to understand how the USA functions. Compulsory in certain areas is OK. You MUST get a license to operate a business. That is not optional. It is compulsory.

            A Pastor does not have to marry anyone they do not want to because they are serving their function in a Church. The Church is protected under the Constitution. A person serving a CIVIC duty as part of our Government (which cannot establish a religion) must fulfill their duty as part of the Government, which mandates that they serve people equally. The Court has ruled same-sex marriage legal. Therefore, a person serving in a Governmental function must provide for same-sex marriage, as that is the law of the land.

            Religion has never been established in legal precedent as a carte-blanche excuse to wantonly discriminate everywhere. Otherwise, you could have a Christian Doctor who refuses to treat a patient just because they are: jewish, muslim, gay, atheist, black, white, Irish, etc. A civilized society cannot have this.

          • So, we’re back to “agree with me or you don’t have a right to…” do what?

            Pastor a church? Run a business? Work in the public sector?

            Wow; There’s freedom for you… As I said, no wonder there’s a public backlash. You are characterizing compulsion to participate in an event as discrimination, and that’s just not true.

            I mean, it’s not like christianity just decided this… more like a serious tenet that’s only 4000 years old.

          • Of course you do. But you have to do so in compliance with applicable laws, including those applying to discrimination.
            How do you believe the age of discriminatory practices factors in their legality?

          • Doh… Still stuck on discrimination, I see. This is becoming tedious, so get a clue: Homosexuality is not a federally protected class. That’s what this decision in NC was about. The more you fight for this idea of compulsion in the name of equal protection, the more backlash gays will experience.

          • Sigh. Ok, Bob. Keep fighting the good fight on behalf of bigots everywhere.

          • Hmmm Requesting that you respect my (or other’s) religious right to not participate in an event makes me a bigot in your eyes. Yeah… that’s why NC passed this law. You just won’t accept any other view… which makes you stuck on stupid. GFY.

          • Because Christianity wants to pick and chose which things it wants to be offended by from the Bible and use them in discriminitory ways. Bible says to not work on the Sabbath. Where is the outcry for making business close on Sunday? Why are true Christians being discriminated against who want to keep the Sabbath holy? Why aren’t Jews allowed to do the same and not work from Sundown Friday to Sundown Saturday? As the bill isn’t worded exactly to keep them from marrying gays, when do we get the first case of someone not doing their job because they don’t want to marry a mixed race couple? The right to not agree with them stops at denying them a right they already have.

          • Exactly, Jhary… Christians are free people who can indeed choose to follow the bible or not… including picking and choosing their issues. That’s called “free exercise”… just in case you never heard of it.

            And because of that free exercise right, you have no right to condemn a person who chooses to follow the bible. That is a restriction on religion, and a much higher violation of constitutional rights that any equal protection law.

          • No, it’s called “discrimination”. They aren’t following the Bible, they are following the parts of it that they like so they can act in ways to discriminate against others, and then use religion as justification.

          • You’re just not getting this freedom of religion thing… probably because you disagree that religion should be free?

            Also, you guys act like “discrimination” is some evil buzzword. Clue here: If you buy chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla because you like chocolate more, you’re discriminating. Geez! Get a grip.

            Discrimination is bad when it’s based on a characteristic… instead of a choice.

          • BobD, what you have failed to understand is that, in some situations, compulsion IS ok.

            Nobody has forced, say, a flower vendor, to go into business selling flowers. But if he/she chooses to do so, there ARE laws with which the business must comply, in most (all?) cases including non-discrimination ordinances.

          • So, according to you, I’m not allowed to sell flowers or take pictures unless I also sell flowers to or take pictures at gay weddings. Wow… yeah… that good ol’ USA freedom there.

        • Protection is for people, not positions.

          A person can discriminate all they want when they’re acting as an individual. Acting in an official capacity should not have that protection, as you’re representing the opinions of your state, not your own.

          If you don’t like it, become a contractor, where you can choose your own work.

          Also, when you say “I do.” to your spouse in front of a priest, you’re not actually married. You have to fill out paperwork.

          The tides have turned. Do you even think, bro?

          • But Nicholas; You’re wrong… those wedding vendors were contractors… and were successfully sued in lower courts. Too bad there was never an appeal.

            And the tides are turning again… most people do not like the idea of being compelled.

            Return the question, “Bro”… Do you think?… because this “discrimination” argument is a straw man argument.

          • http://lmgtfy.com/?q=independent+contractor

            “The United States Supreme Court has offered the following guidelines to distinguish employees from independent contractors:

            The extent to which services are integral to the employer’s business. Greater integration favors an employee-employer relationship.

            The permanence of the relationship. More established relationships favor employee status.”

            Wedding vendors are not contractors. Baker’s entire income is hinged on baking cakes and stuff.

            Now, if a baker hired someone to sift flour, that person would be considered an independent contractor.

            Any comment on your priest angle?

          • Nicholas; A wedding vendor is not a contractor according to you? I think you need to return your law degree to walmart for a refund.

          • Resorting to ad hominem attacks, now?

            Have a nice life. Hopefully you won’t be a bigoted jerk for the rest of it.

          • Oh, I am SO SORRY!! Forgive me for calling bullcrap what it is! Please forgive me… I beg you…

          • Don’t worry, Bob. These magistrates WILL be compelled by a federal judge to obey. Just watch. You’ll crumble just like your traitorous confederate ancestors before the power of the federal government.

          • Paul; You’re right… they probably will… by some liberal who ignores the fact that homosexuality is not a protected class under federal law, or that any attempt to add it must go through congress. Which means it will be struck down on appeal…

            So, long after gay marriage is permitted, this issue of compulsion will go to the supreme court… I should add, as it needs to. I certainly hope the court chooses wisely, instead of with the knee-jerk reaction you expect from some federal lower court.

          • Doesn’t work like that. State officials who defy federal court orders can be held personally liable in lawsuits. Your magistrate refuse to issue you a marriage license because you’re gay? Sue him: he won’t enjoy the protection of his office if he’s in violation of an order. This won’t “go back” to the Supreme Court. This bullshit will come to a screeching halt in two weeks when the Supremes rule that the 14th compels states to offer licenses to same-sex couples.

          • If you think the supremes will rule broadly on equal protection, you’re dreaming. At best (for you), they will make marriage legal, without saying a thing about who has to perform them.

          • Paul, more demagoguery I see. Try reading the Bill before making false assumptions. If a magistrate recuses himself he will be performing no marriages or issue no licenses, so how could he refuse to?

          • Hogwash, the Bill is perfectly legal and not unconstitutional. The Bill requires all couples seeking marriage to be treated equally. Try reading and understanding the Bill, stop the demagoguery and say something that makes sense.

          • The Employer, the State in this instance is the one determining what “official capacity” you work in. Further Title VII extends to government and governmental agency employees. Finally there is no discrimination here as all couples will be treated the same.

      • “If same sex marriage is legal, then anyone who can marry people should be obligated to marry anyone who is eligible.”
        Ok, fine… those that “recuse” will not be able to perform “any” marriages. Performing marriages is but a small part of a magistrates duties. Those that recuse will simply be assigned more of the many other duties and more marriages will be performed by those who do not opt out. The Bill requires that “all” marriages be performed.

        • The point is not that they won’t be performing any marriages.

          The point is that they won’t be performing any marriages, because they don’t want to perform SOME marriages.

          That is discrimination.

          What happens at a county clerk’s office that only has one person who can issue marriage licenses? Do you have to drive 100 miles to the next county over to get married?

          • If this occurs the Bill requires the District and Circuit Courts to pick up the slack until adjustments can be made. Any couples being affected will be “all” couples…no discrimination.

    • Look, nobody would accept a pig slaughterer, hired to slaughter pigs, who morally objected to harming pigs. Nobody would pay them to sit on their hands not doing their job. They’d need to go find a different job, one that doesn’t compromise their moral objections.

      You are hired to approve legal marriages, do your job. You are hired to dispense medicine according to a doctor’s orders, do your job. You are hired to run a hospital to provide medical services to the public, do your job. Don’t sit on your hands taking money (PUBLIC money in many cases) for not doing your job. Does anybody stop you from having those objections? No.

      And get your fake moral objections off the lawn: http://www.flowerhorne.com/blo

    • You’re confusing public officials with private business owners. The former have an obligation to serve the public — all of it.

  • Wish I could LIKE this a million times! Finally a legislature that is willing to stand up for the people who elected them!

  • What a legacy of hate republicans across the country are creating. Very sad to see the America they miss and long for reappear in new age Jim Crow laws.

  • This will be declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in about 10 seconds.
    Don’t worry: North Carolina will obey. Southern conservatives always buckle under the weight of federal court orders … or federal troops.

    • Hogwash, it is perfectly legal and not unconstitutional and most lawyers
      agree on that. The potential downfall is that is causes unreasonable
      delay, but even the, since the delay will be foe all couples, not just
      SSM couples, even that occurrence may not be against the law. The
      proposed Bill comports with Title VII of the Civil rights Act as well as
      EEOC and Scotus rulings dealing with “religious accommodations” by

  • The courts are supposed to be impartial. If religious views dictate your rulings than you should not be practicing law. If you want to be a conscientious objector, don’t go into civil service. Because now that law can be expanded to say, “Im a bigot, I refuse to use my government authority to help [insert race here] or [insert gender here] or [insert religion here] because it goes against my philosophies.” If you are incapable of making a neutral decision without referring to your own religious doctrine, than you should not be in any position of authority. This clearly violates the SCOTUS doctrine of separation of church and state and the 14th amendment by willfully giving the option to discriminate against several distinct classes of people.

    • Hogwash, it is perfectly legal and not unconstitutional and most lawyers agree on that. The potential downfall is that is causes unreasonable delay, but even the, since the delay will be foe all couples, not just SSM couples, even that occurrence may not be against the law. The proposed Bill comports with Title VII of the Civil rights Act as well as EEOC and Scotus rulings dealing with “religious accomodations” by Employers.

      • Hogwash? Every state has a code of judicial conduct. This law violates the integrity of the North Carolina’s judicial code of conduct by order of the State Supreme Court as follows:

        violates Canon 1
        violates Canon 2A and 2B
        violates Canon 3A(1), 3A(3), 3B(2), 3B(4)
        violates Canon 4A
        violates Canon 5A

        These are major ethics violations and inhibits the justice system from carrying out fair and impartial treatment under the law, as well as all public civil servants under order from the judiciary to execute court orders, including issuing marriage licenses. Abstention based on religious beliefs is unethical conduct which coincides with the State Supreme Court’s own doctrine regarding impartiality to the law.

        Arizona passed a similar law 2 months ago and a week after it’s passing, it was overruled by the State Supreme Court for violating judicial codes of conduct and the State Ethics Committee agreed. It is only a matter of a few weeks before the the State Supreme Court in North Carolina invalidates the bill on the same principles and precedence.

        • Sorry James, there is no Law against a State Judiciary changing a magistrates named duties. Since the magistrates that opt out will not be performing “any” marriages, there is no violation of the Code of Ethics. I am unaware of similar legislation in AZ, but if you care to cite the case I’d be interested.

  • The Bill appears to be perfectly legal and Constitutional. It comports with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as well as EEOC and Scotus rulings. It does not allow for discrimination of SSM couples. If you don’t believe this, try reading the law and making an intelligent response. No more demagoguery, please.

  • WAKE THE F&#K UP PEOPLE. As long and ANYONES rights are not secure, YOURS can be taken away too! They ALREADY HAVE BEEN IN NORTH CAROLINA.

    NO ONE is holding a gun to their heads to take or make them stay at their jobs. IF Their Moral/Religious Beliefs preclude them from CIVIC duty, and they refuse to perform them, they should be not be hired for the position, or terminated if they refuse to perform the responsibilities of the job. Issuance of Marriage licenses are a CIVIC Duty in this country.

    What happens when a JEWISH doctor at a County Hospital, decides not to treat a Gentile, Buddhists Muslim, or any of the “NON CHOSEN PEOPLE” (yes, there ARE Jews who feel this way) who comes in with a bullet wound to the head… or a JEWISH or other Child with a 106* fever, and the Doctors feels that children out of wedlock OR NOT being Jewish is against his/her religious belief?

    What if the black lady behind the counter holds to another awful stereotype and decides that she’s not going to stand for one more white woman, marrying “A perfectly good black man” (Thereby taking him away from another Black Woman) and says Interracial Marriage is against her beliefs? She may now deny that license…. WHAT IF a GAY PERSON who goes to MCC church is the one issuing Marriage licenses, and he/she decides that YOUR STRAIGHT CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE is against His/Her religious beliefs…. THIS LAW ALLOWS YOU TO BE DENIED YOUR LICENSE.What happens when the clerk is Agnostic, or a Satanist, and denies ANYONE who practices another religion. YES, THEY CAN NOW DO THIS BY VIRTUE OF THIS LAW!!!!!

    EVEN IF YOU ARE IN FAVOR OF THIS HORRIFIC LAW, you MUST understand that YOUR RIGHTS AND FREEDOM were taken away with this law.

    • Wow, mindless ranting. Yes they could have been fired, but the Employer chooses to retain them by providing a “religious accommodation”. What “rights” were taken away? None. The Bill requires all marriages to be performed for all couples. This Bill does not allow a license to be denied. Churches don’t issue licenses. If the “black lady behind the counter” has a sincere religious belief, under this Bill she can recuse in which case she will be issuing no licenses to anyone. Try reading the Bill before spewing you demagoguery.

  • Since these people are so concerned with “sincer believes” there should be a law protecting people to be forced to lecture women to drive …
    And don’t forget that the members of IS, AlKaida, … have all “sincer believes2, so we should nont fight them but support them, like this bill does.

  • This bill will allow a magistrate to refuse heterosexual marriages, too, like if a Catholic magistrate feels that performing the marriage of a divorced person goes against their religious beliefs. It is broad, discriminatory, un-Constitutional and dangerous.

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