The North Carolina House has given final approval to a bill that will help safeguard the religious liberties of certain public servants in North Carolina, and the bill is now on its way to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature.
SB 2-Magistrates Recusal of Civil Ceremonies passed the House on Thursday, May 28 by a vote of 67 to 43.
“We applaud the North Carolina General Assembly for passing this vital measure, which recognizes the right of all citizens, including public servants, to religious liberty protection,” said John L. Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “We now urge Governor Pat McCrory to sign this important bill into law.”
SB 2 would establish a legal right (1) allowing magistrates to recuse from performing marriage ceremonies, and (2) allowing assistant registers of deeds and deputy registers of deeds to recuse from issuing marriage licenses, as long as the recusal is “based upon any sincerely held religious objection.” The bill would also shield these public officials from punishment or disciplinary action for failing to discharge their duties, if the recusal is made in “good-faith.”
SB 2 became necessary after federal court rulings forced the State of North Carolina to legally recognize same-sex unions and begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples last fall. Subsequently, a number of magistrates resigned their posts in order to avoid violating their deeply held religious beliefs by being forced to participate in same-sex union ceremonies.
The North Carolina Family Policy Council now encourages citizens across North Carolina to contact Governor Pat McCrory at 919.814.2050 and urge him to sign Senate Bill 2 into law.