Law allows gay marriage exemption
A measure allowing some court officials to refuse to perform gay marriage responsibilities because of their religious beliefs became law in North Carolina, but opponents said litigation challenging the new statute was likely to come soon.
The state House voted to override Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of the bill, making the law effective immediately. The Senate voted to override last week.
North Carolina becomes the second state with such an exemption for court officials. Utah passed a similar one this year.
The law means some workers in register of deeds offices who assemble licenses and magistrates to solemnize civil marriages can decide to stop performing all marriages if they hold a “sincerely held religious objection.”
The law “protects sincerely held religious beliefs while also ensuring that magistrates are available in all jurisdictions to perform lawful marriages,” House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement.