Court: NC Magistrates Can Refuse to Perform Same-Sex Marriages
The law allows magistrates to refuse to perform marriages based on a “sincerely held religious objection.” Lawmakers passed the bill over the veto of then-Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
The law came in reaction to the 2014 federal court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in North Carolina. And it came at a time when such marriages were becoming the law of the land.
The magistrates case tests the balance between federal law and private religious beliefs. In Wednesday’s decision, Circuit Court Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III sought to frame the issue.
“At the heart of this lawsuit is a debate over the extent to which religious accommodations can coexist with the constitutional right to same-sex marriage,” he wrote.