RALEIGH In a victory for social conservatives, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that North Carolina’s civil magistrates have a right to recuse themselves from performing same-sex marriages.The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower district court ruling, stating that the couples who brought the suit against the state lack the legal grounds to do so. According to the opinion of the court, the plaintiffs, “all of whom are either married or engaged, do not claim that the state has impeded their right to get married,” but instead challenged their right as taxpayers who “object to the alleged spending of public funds in aid of religion.”Judge Harvie Wilkinson from Virginia wrote the opinion, with input from Justices Barbara Milano Keenan, also of Virginia, and Stephanie Thacker of West Virginia. The ruling upholds Senate Bill 2, a law that was introduced by N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) in 2015. The bill was met with controversy when then-Gov. Pat McCrory, also a Republican, vetoed the bill only to be overrode by the GOP supermajority in the General Assembly.”Once again, a federal court has rejected the idea that exercising one’s First Amendment religious freedoms somehow infringes on others’ rights which was made clear when the plaintiffs couldn’t find even one North Carolinian who was unable to get married under this law,” Berger said Wednesday in a written statement.His office asserts that the law preserves the ability of everyone who is legally eligible to get married, but makes clear that magistrates and registers of deeds’ employees with religious objections have the right to recuse themselves from performing all marriage ceremonies including traditional marriage without fear of losing their jobs or facing criminal prosecution.
NEW YORK An explosion rocked the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and caused at least 25 injuries on Saturday, the New York City Fire Department said, prompting emergency personnel to swarm one of the most […]
RALEIGH The N.C. Senate passed a $22.9 billion state budget early Friday morning, focusing spending efforts on raises for state employees, including teachers and principals, community health centers, and tax cuts. Rules dictate that […]
CHICAGO The state of Florida has identified 10 more cases of Zika virus caused by local mosquitoes and has asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to send in experts to help […]