NC Governor to Veto Marriage Exemption Bill

The North Carolina legislature recently passed a bill that would allow magistrates to refuse to perform same-sex weddings even though they are legal in that state, but Gov. Pat McCrory says he’s going to veto it because government officials cannot discriminate in the services they provide to the public.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday afternoon that he’ll veto a bill to allow magistrates to opt out of performing marriage if they have a religious objection.

The governor’s announcement came just hours after the N.C. House approved it in a 67-43 final vote Thursday.

“I recognize that for many North Carolinians, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman,” McCrory said in a news release.

“However, we are a nation and a state of laws. Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, 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; therefore, I will veto Senate Bill 2.”

Senate Bill 2 would allow magistrates and register of deeds employees to be exempt from performing weddings if they have a religious objection. Opponents of the measure say it would allow discrimination against same-sex couples, though workers seeking the exemption couldn’t perform any type of wedding for at least a six-month period.

The courts would have struck it down anyway, but it’s nice to see an elected official take a stand for equality. Government officials cannot decide to provide a legal service to one group that is eligible but not another. A Christian judge cannot refuse to perform a same-sex wedding because of their religious beliefs any more than a Muslim clerk could refuse to issue a driver’s license to a woman for the same reason.

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  • StevoR

    Well done Gov. Pat McCrory. I hope he gets appropriate recognition and support for this.

  • D. C. Sessions

    StevoR: you mean, “primaried from the Right(er)?”

  • Modusoperandi


  • John Pieret

    Opponents of the measure say it would allow discrimination against same-sex couples

    Well, at least the law provided a mechanism to insure there was a magistrate available to marry SSM couples and a clerk to issue licenses to same-sex couples, which puts North Carolians light years ahead of Texans, who tried (but fortunately failed) to deny salary and benefits to any clerk or magistrate who (assuming SCOTUS does what everyone expects it to do) obeyed the Constitution and executed SSMs.

  • The Other Lance

    Well I’ll be snookered, Andy! Governor McCorrupted-by-Duke-Energy is doing something right, just because it’s the right thing to do. I didn’t think he had it in him!

  • garnetstar

    Gov. McCrory figures out which side of his bread his buttered? What’s the occasion?

  • whheydt

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day….

  • carbonfox

    Hopefully, he’ll veto this nasty abortion bill, too. I’ll give him credit for vetoing the ridiculous ag-gag bill the legislature recently hammered through.

  • carpenterman

    It astonishes me that so many people seem to not grasp that if your religious principles forbid you to perform certain duties that come with your job, that means you *can’t do your job*. And if you can’t do your job, then you *lose your job*. It’s called getting fired for cause. Why should people get paid for a job they can’t do (or more accurately, choose not to do)? It’s called the free market, folks. Maybe you read about it somewhere.