Governor of North Carolina vetoes bill to permit anti-gay discrimination
The Governor of North Carolina has said that he will veto a bill that permits religious discrimination against gay people.
The state Congress this week followed a number of others in passing an ‘Indiana-style’ religious freedom law, which gives public officials the right to refuse to serve people on the basis of same-sex weddings..
However, Republican governor Pat McCrory has spoken out against the bill – and announced he will use his veto to block it from becoming law.
He said: “I recognise that for many North Carolans, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman.
“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 vetoed Senate Bill 2.”
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives had approved the law this week by a vote of 67-43 – but McCrory’s intervention will prevent it from coming into effect.
Indiana saw a substantial backlash when lawmakers passed a similar law earlier this year – with Apple CEO Tim Cook lashing out at the lawmakers.
Mr Cook, who is from Indiana and openly gay himself, said: “These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality.
“Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love.
“Regardless of what the law might allow in Indiana or Arkansas, we will never tolerate discrimination.”