NORTH CAROLINA: Court Hearing Begins On Lawsuit To Overturn Magistrates’ Same-Sex Marriage Opt-Out Law

The Associated Press reports:

Roughly 5 percent of North Carolina’s magistrates are refusing to marry same-sex couples for religious reasons, and lawyers for the state say people suing in federal court have no standing to challenge these opt-outs as unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn scheduled a hearing for Monday in Asheville in part to consider a motion by the state to dismiss their lawsuit altogether. Separately, Republican legislative leaders and some magistrates also want to be added as defendants as the case, saying they don’t trust Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper to defend the state law.

Three couples — two lesbian and one heterosexual — say taxpayer dollars are being spent to implement the 2015 opt-out law that treats them as second-class citizens and favors one set of religious views over another.

“It allows judicial officers to opt out of upholding the constitution,” said Jake Sussman, one of their attorneys. “We don’t believe that the law appropriately balanced issues of religious liberty and these constitutional obligations.”

The Liberty Counsel has petitioned to join the defense on behalf of an anti-gay magistrate. (Tipped by JMG reader Rob)

  • kirtanloorii

    Why don’t you opt out of society while you’re at it.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Indeed, I believe in this instance, the 2nd amendment could come in handy.

      I know, I’m evil.

    • Alan43

      They’re opting out of the future

      • vorpal

        Basic human decency, too.
        “Traditional values.”

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    And what harm will the magistrates ‘suffer’ for performing the duties of their jobs?

    • Gustav2

      They may have to eat ‘gay cake?’

      Seriously, proximity to sin will tempt you and make you a sinner. Maybe not in this way, but in others.

      • Skokieguy [Larry]

        Their reward for doing their job (issuing marriage certificates) is a paycheck, not a piece of gay cake.

    • lymis

      The same sort of harm that an atheist suffers if they are required to lead prayers or perform religious duties.

      I think they’re wrong, and that the courts need to make a far clearer distinction than they’ve done in the past, but that’s the case being made.

    • OdieDenCO

      because, hot men in tuxedos are a grave temptation to closeted homocons.

      • Hank

        Lets show the complete couple:

    • Macbill

      They’ll say they feel “icky” while they sport a woody just thinkin’ ’bout it.

      • But only if the applicants are cute lesbians… because otherwise, buttsecks…. EEEEWWWW!!!

    • Sporkfighter

      Social conservatives get “icky” feelings easily, and mistake those feelings feeling for God’s Finger stirring their brains.

      http://www.livescience.com/16746-conservatives-disgust-political-views.html

  • Marc

    If they can’t recognize civil marriage, then they shouldn’t be in their positions.

    • MaryMitch

      Yeah, just do your damn job!

  • The Liberty Counsel has petitioned to join the defense.

    Well, nothing says failure before the bench like The Liberty Counsel. Magistrates, warm up your gay-marryin’ engines!

    • TJay229

      In 5…4…3…2

    • vorpal

      LOL Liberty Counsel is the white flag of lawyerings.

      Clearly, 5% of NC magistrates deserve to be fired.

      If your religious lifestyle choices prevent you from doing your job, accept responsibility for them and stop demanding special accommodation, unless you do so with the recognition and admission that fundamentalist Christianity is a crippling disability.

      • skyweaver

        I’ve met some of them. Sure seems like a crippling disability. I’ve never met more unhappiness trying to assert itself as happiness.

        • vorpal

          As I pointed out on another website, much of what fundies preach seems to be about abhorring any natural joy and pleasure in life, be it from sex, food, music, etc, and then get especially uppity when others refuse to follow suit.

          From my previous post:
          LOL if you aren’t aware, you should read about the history of Corn Flakes and Graham Crackers on Wikipedia.

          Dr. Kellogg introduced Kellogg Corn Flakes in hopes that it would reduce masturbation. In fact, Kellogg devoted much of his energy to discouraging sexual activity of any kind, and was an especially ardent critic of masturbation, which he believed could cause “cancer of the womb, urinary diseases, nocturnal emissions, impotence, epilepsy, insanity, and mental and physical debility” as well as “dimness of vision” and moral corruption.

          Sound familiar? Again, Christians acting on their feelings, which are obviously (sarcasm) indicators of objective truth.

          The graham cracker was originally conceived of as a health food as part of the Graham Diet, a regimen to suppress what Reverend Graham considered unhealthy carnal urges, the source of many maladies according to Graham. Reverend Graham would often lecture on “self-abuse”, as masturbation was commonly called at the time. Graham would often say how these experiences were inspired by children eating crackers. One of his many theories was that one could curb one’s sexual appetite by eating bland foods.

          I must wonder if Reverend Graham had a fetish for children eating crackers.

          LOL again. Why Christians just despite themselves or others enjoying life is beyond me, but it is a pattern that emerges time and time again: if it feels good and you’re enjoying it, you’re probably doing it wrong.

          • Steverino

            Augustine of Hippo’s legacy. Funny how the musings of a sexually frustrated Catholic Saint would become magnified tenfold in Protestant fundamentalism.

          • Craig Howell

            But who can resist the appeal or sincerity of Augustine’s famous prayer: “O Lord, make me pure! But not yet.”

          • Martharsievers

            <<rw. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!ir193m:….,……

          • Craig Howell

            H. L. Mencken famously defined Puritanism as the suspicion that somebody, somewhere, is having a good time. Nuttyfundamentalists fit that definition perfectly.

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            Ok, but what about cheerios ??

          • Todd20036

            Those are yummy, and they taste good dry, which makes them very portable.

          • vorpal

            Hahahaha! I love this, because stale Cheerios were one of my favourite snacks for a long time… extra dry and full of oaten goodness!

            When I was a hyper little ADHD brat, I would almost never eat, so my mom would leave little piles of Cheerios around on all the tables and nearly have a fit of celebration every time I crammed some down my little loud mouth :D.

          • vorpal

            EDITED FOR INABILITY TO TYPE.

            Based on the name, clearly they are of the devil.
            The British Devil.
            (Different version… instead of Republican Red, comes in limey green.)

        • boatboy_srq

          It’s unhappiness ensuring that other people’s unhappiness is greater than theirs.

          • skyweaver

            That seems about right.

      • Mark

        hopefully they will plant that white flag square in McCrappy’s butt.

        • lattebud

          I was hoping in the his key hole… of his jail cell

      • Michael White

        We all know religious bigots never accept responsibility EVER

      • JustSayin’

        My question has long been why have we tolerated gay being called a lifestyle when religion is not?

        • vorpal

          I don’t think many or any of us tolerate “gay” being called a lifestyle, and it is the product of them reducing us to sex acts and claiming that we base our entire identity on them, which is just wrong on so many levels that it affirms that fundamentalist Christianity IS indeed a crippling disability.

          There is help, though… actually reading the bible (assuming basic literacy, however, might be optimistic) has been known to cure it, and there is always gaying away the pray, which I suspect might be quite effective.

          • RoFaWh

            You win whatever is today’s prize for insightful coinage:

            gay away the pray

            Magnificent!

          • vorpal

            Please tell me it’s not a toaster.
            I have already gay-earned far too many of those.

          • Bad Tom

            How about this very gay waffle iron?

          • vorpal

            =paws at it suspiciously=
            It LOOKS like it doesn’t make blue waffles, so I’ll take it!

        • Sk3ptic

          I’ll even take it a step further and say lifestyle choice. As if they didn’t choose their religion.

    • Bill Post

      They’re like the Red Cross… gotta look busy

  • Gustav2

    If gay marriage is not the End of the World…

    The Lawrence Welk Show reruns will no longer be carried by our local PBS station!
    Bring it back and make America Great Again!

    • Oikos
      • medaka

        That is brilliant.

        • No, that’s revolting. There’s a hairy cyclops trying to get out of that man’s shirt, and he’s torturing it with that cowbell!

      • Silver Badger

        Ick. That poor man. Not only are his clothes to small, he is evidently having some sort of seizure.

        • B Snow

          He has a fever. And the only cure…is more cowbell.

    • Paula

      Lawrence Welk is dead! Thanks be to Karma. Small return for all the times my mom used to watch that show when I was growing up and made us watch it with her!!!

      • Gustav2

        I don’t remember a time it was not on…

  • S1AMER

    Depends on the judge whether or not these people are given standing. I’d say there’s a fair chance they’ll lose, given that they can still get marriage licenses from someone else (and disregarding the insult of making them go to the non-homophobe window!).

    On the other hand, the judge might see this differently, and recognize that seats in the back of the bus just aren’t the same as those up front.

    We shall see …

    • JustSayin’

      Article III standing is not dependent on a plaintiff being able to get services through an alternative means.

      Standing means the plaintiff has a right to sue the government because a law or rule harms them specifically in a concrete manner.

      For a comparable recent case see the decison from the Fifth Circuit blocking abortion clinics. Texas claimed that even if they closed all the centers not in a metropolitan area those wanting an abortion could go to another state or to a metro area to get an abortion. Even the ultra conservative fifth circuit said flat out NO to the texas claim that the plaintiffs had no standing because they could get the service elsewhere.

      As for denying marriage and demanding that their alternative is functional, that is why the heterosexual is also a plaintiff. The NC law, as lymis points out, says that if they opt out of gay marriages they opt out of doing all marriages. In doing so they impose an additional financial burden on their country to import yet another worker to take over the tasks they opt out of.

      I am fairly sure the courts, up to and including scotus will tell these clowns to fuck off.

  • zhera

    Is their job religious?
    Do they refuse divorced couples?
    Are they bound by the Constitution?

    This shouldn’t have gone to court in the first place, but now it’s there, it should be a quick deal. Why are these people making things so difficult?

    • Silver Badger

      Because they are poor losers.

    • bingo….if you only want to be involved in marriages that you approve off then get out of civil marriage and go work with your church. civil marriage is not about only marriages that the individual magistrate approves of but rather about all marriages that are legal and valid in the state.

  • bkmn

    McCrory had better get used to losing in the courtroom cause there is going to be a lot of it in his future.

    • timncguy

      Yep, he’s on the losing end of three cases now. This one, HB2 and Voter ID. Our General Assembly sure loves spending tax dollars defending losing court cases for their unconstitutional laws.

    • David Walker

      Until re-budgeted, there are only so many dollars in the Disaster Relief Fund. He needs to be frugal and mindful of the limits to the public coffers. Or is that coughers?

      • canoebum

        I want to hear what the North Carolina victims will say after the next disaster, when the discover their asshole governor spent the money defending a losing case for legal bigotry.

        • Chucktech

          “Oh, UNCLE SUGAR??? We had a little storm blow through and we need some more money…”

        • David Walker

          They’ll be confused, and then one of his advisers will suggest blaming it on us, particular the transgenders. It worked in “Animal Farm,” it’ll work in North Carolina.

      • bkmn

        NC was a tobacco state.

      • MB

        Gov. Sam Brownback in Kansas did the very same- running his State’s budget into the ground to the tune of a now $400 million dollar deficit then spending an additional $100k defending their anti-gay marriage laws, selling short education and public and medical assistance. (not including payouts ordered after their anti-gay nonsense is eventually smacked down by the courts.

        He signed Kansas SB175 Religious Freedom bill in March 2016 but the attempt at a Kansas “bathroom bill’ failed.

        You just CAN’T fix fundamentalist-stoopid.

    • lattebud

      And he will get to whine about it to Megyn Kelley

  • Cuberly

    Do they work for the public at large or are they christianist shariah mullahs.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Hey McCrory, the steamroller that is history moves ever forward and you’re in the way.

    • Oikos
    • Oikos

      Sorry, didn’t see your gif until I reloaded the page.

      • PickyPecker

        It’s good to get the Gayroller out of the garage as often as possible! Look at all those screaming faces, for heaven’s sake!

        • TrollopeReader

          it needs regular lubing and what-not ….

  • popebuck1

    It’s comforting knowing that these exact same little rear-guard legal actions must have been tried back when Loving v. Virginia came out, and that no one remembers any of them today.

  • TJay229

    So let me see if I Understand this fool, McCory.

    He’s going to go back in front of the same Judge that sided against NC and ruled FOR Marriage Equality expecting him to side with him (NC) this time?

    Gawd, NC gives southerners a bad name.

    • JustSayin’

      His goal is to get to scotus in hopes they overturn the appellate decision. Basically to keep his cred as a conservative for when he runs for the u.s. senate

  • lymis

    If you dig into this PARTICULAR law, it may survive constitutional muster, as long as it’s actually being followed (Compare to, for example, the “Don’t Ask” part of DADT, which was constantly violated and never enforced).

    Unlike similar laws elsewhere, people who opt out in NC opt out of performing ALL civil marriages or issuing ALL civil licenses. They can NOT simply opt out of providing services to same-sex couples. And the law does not limit the opt out only to serving gay people – someone can opt out for any religious reason.

    Someone who opts out can not do ANY marriage related work, and has to opt back in, at which point they are required to serve all members of the public equally. Additionally, a written opt-out has to be renewed every six months.

    Every office that serves the public for marriage related services must, by law, be prepared to serve same-sex couples exactly as they do opposite sex couples, and it has to be transparent to the public. If they are open for any, they must be open for all. If everyone in any office opts out, the manager must, under penalty of law, arrange for temporary, state-paid workers to be available at all times to fill in the gap. If the manager opts out, the state must provide a temporary, state-paid manager to do their duties.

    On the one hand, it’s vile, bullshit, and unnecessary complexity at taxpayer expense. On the other hand, if the actual members of the public are actually getting equal treatment, how the state conducts its business under the hood may be something the courts leave to the state to decide. After all, the Constitutional guarantee is that the citizen be treated equally, not that the state has to force specific individuals to do any particular job if they provide other individuals to do it.

    Now, the chances that it’s actually going to BE administered properly, and that LGBT individuals won’t have to face, “Oh, the only person who serves the gays is off today, come back Monday. But we’re open for straight people” much less the Kim Davis “not by my office, you don’t” bullshit may be vanishingly small.

    Is it really discrimination if the person who wants to deny services is prevented from providing services to anyone? It’s possible that the Court might not think so. But if so, then they’d better be doubling down on enforcement and making it clear that anyone who is denied services is free to take legal action.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Interesting. Seems they are wising up. But fellow office workers probably shun them. At least I would hope so.

    • CB

      Given that, however, one could argue that refusal of all marriages places an undue burden on any person trying to exercise a constitutional right. They have to find someone who will perform the marriage.

    • No it won’t. Religious objection does not abrogate your duty to uphold the constitution.

    • JustSayin’

      That is why the plaintiffs include a heterosexual, who this law disenfranchises in an effort to harm marriage between same sex couple. I think they will try that argument but that it will fail.

    • Sporkfighter

      “If you dig into this PARTICULAR law, it may survive constitutional muster, as long as it’s actually being followed (Compare to, for example, the “Don’t Ask” part of DADT, which was constantly violated and never enforced).”

      “Separate but equal” was defended on pretty much those same lines.

  • Rex

    I’m going to assume they refuse to marry an opposite sex couple who have been previously married and divorced, because, divorce is sin too.

    • Smokey

      Interesting that previous to marriage equality none of these (i’ll be kind and not call them bigots) magistrates had a problem with any of the other religious shibboleths that should have had them refusing to perform their duties based on their “deeply held” beliefs. Hmmmm.

  • geoffalnutt

    Look, popcorn doesn’t grow on trees, ya know. I’m gonna have to switch to something cheaper.

    • The_Wretched

      Right, popcorn is a grass seed.

  • JT
  • Ninja0980

    If you are a civil servant, you don’t get to decide who does and doesn’t get your services based on religious beliefs.
    If you can’t handle that, then quit and find another job.

  • BeaverTales

    Southerners and their religious intolerance are destroying this nation from the inside out like a cancer.

    • Robert Conner

      Cancer or syphilis? I’m leaning more toward syphilis as an explanation.

      • Mark

        Agreed. The Socially Transmitted Disease is passed around way too much to be cancer. Besides, we all know the holy rollers are banging their friends and family….

        • BearEyes

          Socially Transmitted Disease
          I am so stealing that! Thanks.

          • medaka
          • ohbear1957

            “Cause no one wants a fellow with a social disease.
            Gee, Officer Krupke,
            What are we to do?
            Gee, Officer Krupke,
            Krup you!”
            ~ Melania Tru . . . I mean, ~ Stephen Sondheim

            “Gee, Governor McCrory,
            Fuck you!”
            ~ ohbear1957

        • Robert Conner

          Old joke: Why don’t Holy Rollers ever fuck standing up? They’re afraid someone will see them and think they’re dancing.

      • Inbreeding. We’re talking about the South, remember?

        • Michael White

          Don t forget Catholic. They are every where

      • Bob Conti

        I’m leaning toward jock itch.

        • I was once tossed out of the my high school library due to jock itch. I was sitting in the library minding my own business reading a Sports Illustrated instead of whatever boring material we were supposed to be reading, when I turned the page. And there in bright white letters on a blood red two page ad with only the words, JOCK ITCH! I fell off my chair laughing and then was tossed out to warm a chair in the principals office.

    • Talk about playing a long game! It’s taken them 151 years and counting to “win” the War Between the States.

  • mjcc1987

    Nothing guarantees failure than the association of “Liberty Counsel” and “legal actions”

  • John Calendo

    “The Liberty Counsel has petitioned to join the defense.” Always a fateful omen, like those meteors that streaked across the sky in Rome, predicting earthquakes, fires, and the birth of Caligula.

  • Paula

    When do I get to opt out of religious people being able to influence the laws that I have to live by?

    • Oikos
      • Paula

        The NAU people have evidence. They have found the money that is being minted for the future. Its on the internet so it must be true.

        • Oikos

          2007-09 is the future? Also what are NAU people?

          • Paula

            North American Union. You know the ones that are enabling the New World Order®.

          • Oikos

            Ah, Illuminati. Got it.

    • Give me more time, Paula. It takes so long to get them all in one place and keep them there. Then I have to wind up the sink-hole machine, and the flying monkeys have to set up a perimeter…

    • Sk3ptic

      Since they have invented “religious freedom” laws, we should start pushing #freedombyenlightenment. After all, this actually has historical, intellectual significance and is backed by some of the most influential thinkers of the past and the present–among them our own founding fathers.

  • I was thinking of a hurricane, but I’m up to my rubber tits in Benedryl… I’d probably hit Canada instead. Do tornadoes work in North Carolina? What about earthquakes?

    • David Walker

      Wherever two or more trailers are gathered in one concentrated space, tornadoes will do their thing. Trailer parks aren’t referred to as “tornado bait” for nothin’.

      • And that’s exactly why I love you David! LOLOL!

      • MB

        I’ve never understood why trailer parks are freqeuntly located in terrain susceptible to ‘nadoes, himmicanes and yearly flooding.

        Oh yeah…. the land is usually cheaper than snot.
        Nevermind.

  • Robert Conner

    “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:32)

    “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

    Remarried Christians are going to burn in Hell. Issuing them “marriage” licenses, effectively a license for sexual immorality, is tantamount to sending them to Hell. For the love of Jeezzus, call the North Fuckashitacrapalina legislature back into emergency session and stop this Satanic apostasy, Governor McCrackhead!

  • tim870

    This asshole, Trump, AND PhamaDouche first thing on Monday morning. I’m taking a bottle of whatever I can find and going back to bed!

    • I know the feeling. I’ve cranberry juice in the fridge, and that bottle of Stoli looks like just the right amount to mix up a batch…

    • djcoastermark

      Thank the stars I have a Hillary Rally to go to in a few hours. It’s a chance to get away from all the monday morning blues/ insanity?

  • TrollopeReader

    It would be nice for Liberty Counsel / Mat Staver to be *denied* being added to the case. Just because!

    • But what would the judge do for comic relief?

      • TrollopeReader

        Laugh him out of the court, and require all attendees to join in !! 🙂

      • RoFaWh

        Inundate him with sovereign citizen b.s.

        A reversal of the usual use of that utterly insane system of thinking.

    • Bob Conti

      Wait, you DO understand that Liberty Counsel = win for its opponents,…

      • TrollopeReader

        oh indeed … i just want Mat humiliated. And humiliated again.

        • TrollopeReader

          basically laughed out of court …

          • DJ John Bear

            and disbarred.

  • Ernest Endevor

    If we weren’t already married I’d put the hubby in a car and drive him down there. Normally I don’t go for the whole ‘I am the Prince of Darkness, you will obey me’ routine he’s got going on. But there are times you just gotta let Satan be Satan. Plus the ‘Casting into the bottomless pit of hell’ can be fun to see. Everyone’s all like, Oh I did not mean to push granny off that cliff.’ And he’s all like ‘bwa ha ha!’ Sometimes there’s an upside to being married to Satan.

    • Silver Badger

      Inquiring minds want to know. Is Satan as good in bed as legend has it? Remember, pix or it didn’t happen.

      • TrollopeReader

        Eugene Delguadio (and Little Marco Rubio) address me as “Satan” in their emails ….

      • Ernest Endevor

        He’s a total doll with amazing stamina. You get used to the hooves. And the horns. But I do not let him use Axe body spray. I tell him he’s not 18 any more. Actually I couldn’t tell you how old he is. He claims that hell’s a lot like Lauderdale, except without the Florida vibe. Heaven, on the other hand, is like a strip mall in Toledo where the only place to eat is at the Bucket o’ Spaghetti.

    • jmax

      Hey, my hubby used to be married to his sister!

      • Ernest Endevor

        Jezebel? She gets around. When she gets all ‘possessive’ I just tell to cut the crap.

    • jsmukg

      Hey, “I am the Prince of Darkness and you will obey me” has its points……..

      • Ernest Endevor

        Get thee behind me, Satan. Best phrase in the English Language.

  • Blake Jordan

    O/T: Polls only has Georgia in Clinton’s hands…

  • David in Palm Springs

    Civil marriage isn’t religious… they lose.

    • The_Wretched

      Which “they”?

  • Bruno

    Folks may have forgotten this, but McCrory actually vetoed this bill when it arrived at his desk, only to be overridden by the disgusting GOP NC legislature. Yes, McCrory could’ve actually staked a claim to being one of the good ones if he didn’t cave to a political calculus later that involved throwing the LGBT community to the back of the bus.

    • Tigernan Quinn

      Why do you assume we’ve forgotten it? It’s that he’s made many hateful and bigoted comments since that one, roguely halfway decent action, so I see it more as a “and your point is?” moment.

      • Bruno

        Because no one in the thread, nor Joe in the post, mentioned it. So the point is this guy had a chance to be a person who does the right thing, and flushed it down the toilet. As I said.

  • TrollopeReader

    Poor Cheeto’s brand (see earlier comment) … a local npr talk show guest (former MA R chair) just said “god forbid — when / if Trump loses, his head will explode and hundreds of angry cheetos will be released” (or somesuch !)

  • penpal

    I have a great idea: gay couples’ taxes are lowered and heterosexuals couples’ taxes are raised. We’re being served by fewer magistrates and they’re being served by more. Why are we being forced to pay the salaries of people who won’t serve us?

    • boatboy_srq

      I would say that that’s directly contravening the common weak, but these wingnuts take that approach with healthcare,…

  • Richard B

    North Carolina has really distinguished itself this year as a stand out state for bigotry for the LGBT, suppressing black folks voting rights, and heavily gerrymandered districts.
    I wonder how the boycotts are working out?
    Is there any signs from recent polls of flipping the legislature and the governor in the fall?

    • jsmukg

      McCrony is currently behind , slightly, in polls, but they don’t mean too much this far out, sadly…

  • Mark

    Given the events of the last few months, my hatred for the shithole that is North Carolina is now on par with the rancor I feel for Tennessee and Mississippi. Well done, NC.

  • david fairfield

    Smack down in 5….4…..3…..2…..

  • Will Parkinson

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJStTqPmcMY

    This is what your prejudice leads to. Young people thinking there is something wrong with them. Finding it impossible to pull themselves out of the morass you’ve created. Leading them to believe their only option may be the final one.

  • This should not be hard. No one is asking for the magistrates personal stamp of approval, but rather for them to do their job. Their job is NOT to grant a marriage license to couples they judge as deserving of one but rather to provide a marriage license to any couple that the law says can marry. If this was about their personal stamp of approval then yes, a conscience protection would be well in order but that is not what this is about. thus becasue granting a marriage license does not convey their personal blessing but rather the legal status in the state it can not be said that it is violating their conscience. they are generating a false choice that they do not actually face. they do not have to chose between their faith and their job becasue doing their job does not mean giving up their own belief about marriage.

  • I think the best question to ask on this issue is this: so would you also be okay with a magistrate refusing to grant a marriage license to an inter-racial or inter-faith couple if they had a religious objection to that? the logic should carry through, if we are going to say that we must allow officials to decline to marry same sex couples becasue of an objection then we must also allow them to decline to marry other couples for other objections as well. there is no logical way to limit the scope of this argument to only applying to same sex couples, and if they do say it should only be about same sex couples then it is clearly not about conscience protections but rather about targeted animus to gay people.

    • All this. Yep. Mixed-race couples. Mixed faith, or even just a religion different than that of the magistrate — like if he or she is Catholic and it’s a Jewish couple standing before them. People who’ve had divorces. Marriages between couples who don’t plan to or cannot have children. Marriages between people who’ve been cohabiting before marriage or where one or both aren’t virgins.

      But we know this is all just a red herring. The gay-haters just want legal cover to hate gay people and they think this one religious belief — which is not universally shared in any case — deserves legal protection at the expense of other people’s civil rights.

  • KnownDonorDad

    Roughly 5 percent of North Carolina’s magistrates need to find a new line of work.

  • anne marie in philly

    either do your job or GTFO!

  • Martharsievers

    <<rw. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!ir193m:….,…..,.l.