NC Lt. Gov. Supports Law Allowing Government Discrimination

There seems to be a difference of opinion between the governor of North Carolina and his lt. governor, both of whom are Republicans. Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed the bill, which the legislature then overrode, but Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is publicly supporting the law with absurd, contradictory arguments.

Dan Forest, the Republican lieutenant governor of North Carolina, joined Craig James on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to discuss a new law in his state that allows public officials to temporarily stop performing marriages if they want to avoid marrying a same-sex or even an interracial couple. Forest supported the bill, which the legislature passed over the veto of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

Forest said that far from being unconstitutional, the new law is actually “upholding the Constitution” because the legislature is the one that assigns duties to magistrates. He added that the law “doesn’t discriminate against anybody, instead it does just the opposite” by supposedly protecting the religious freedom of state magistrates.

As usual, conservatives refuse to apply their arguments consistently. By his reasoning, the Supreme Court ruling to overturn bans on interracial marriages also must be wrong. And the idea that the law does not discriminate because it allows government officials to discriminate is simply laughable.

“You’re not telling them they can’t have a ceremony,” Forest said, “it’s just protecting the religious beliefs of those who don’t want to do it.”

“So, really what this is from the other side, from the left, this is saying that ‘we are not tolerant of you, we’re not tolerant of your beliefs, you do not fit into our great diverse rainbow of diversity here. We will accept everybody but Christians.’” Forest added. “And so that’s really what’s going on here, is it’s very focused on Christians only and so that’s why we’re seeing these issues.”

No, it isn’t “very focused on Christians.” Christians just happen to be the ones demanding the right to discriminate here, just like they did with blacks when the Civil Rights Act was passed.

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  • Chiroptera

    …and his lt. governor….

    According to Wikipedia, North Carolina’s lt. governor is elected separately from the governor, so Forest isn’t “his” lt. governor.

  • blf

    Whilst i’ve no idea precisely what the “law” says, I do rather wonder what would happen if the clerk or whoever happens to simply object to one or more of the people who want to get married.

     — “I can’t marry Them, s/he’s _______.”

     — “I can’t marry Them, they are different sexes!”

     — “I can’t marry Them, one is a reptilian!”

     — “I can’t marry Them, I’m not married.”

     — “I can’t marry Them, the bribe wasn’t sufficient.” (A long time favorite, albeit usually expressed a tad more circumspectly.)

  • Alverant

    We need the Satanists to come in and show those jerks the law can work in their favor too.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Don’t worry, Mr. Forest, those unelected black-robed tyrants you so eagerly defend won’t actually have to marry those icky gays, they just have to conduct their marriage ceremonies, and in extreme cases vacuum up the glitter afterwards.

  • Mr Ed

    My deeply held religious conviction says I should not suffer fools. Will the law protect my religious freedom by requiring Forest not to speak in public. It isn’t discrimination as it allows him to be a fool elsewhere.

  • blf

    My deeply held belief (well, one of them) is no-one is tithing me near enough.

    Also, there isn’t sufficient cheese on the cheeseboard (quantity, quality, and number of different types are all inadequate!). This is related to the above deeply, sincerely, held belief.

  • Broken Things

    Chiroptera @ 1 is correct, there is not a combined party packaged top ticket in NC. While the office usually goes to the party that wins the governors race (due to party straight ticket voting), there is no tight affiliation between the two. It can be a good position to launch a gubernatorial campaign from, but even that is not guaranteed. Forest is a Rick Perry clone installed by Art Pope. His future political aspirations are dependent on pleasing Pope and the Kochs, with the obligatory nod to the religious whackos.

  • eric

    “You’re not telling them they can’t eat lunch,” said Forest 50 years ago, “you’re just protecting the religious rights of lunch counter owners who don’t want to serve blacks.”

  • Dr X

    Why bother with having public officials preside at ceremonies? Just let people file agreement to be married with the county clerk. Oh wait, I’m sorry, I can’t file your paper work. I’m a Christian and I’m protected from touching your papers and typing your marriage on my keyboard.