North Carolina introduces bill to allow anti-gay discrimination
The US state of North Carolina has introduced a bill which allows court officials to opt-out of performing same-sex marriages.
The bill, was previously vetoed by Governor Pat McCrory, but the veto was overridden by politicians in the state.
The State Senate later overrode the veto with 32-16, and then the House did the same.
The law means magistrates and registers of deeds can now refuse to perform same-sex marriages if they think they have a “sincerely held religious objection”.
On vetoeing the bill two weeks ago, Governor McCrory said: “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.”
The state 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.
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But Republican governor Pat McCrory went on to veto the bill, saying: “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.”