LGBT rights group contests N.C. religious freedom bill
    December 9 2015 by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor

    A law passed earlier this year, allowing N.C. government officials to opt out of performing marriage ceremonies due to sincerely held religious objections, has been challenged in a federal suit by the Campaign for Southern Equality and others, according to the Citizen-Times. The Asheville-based LGBT rights group claims Senate Bill Two is unconstitutional, saying it allows magistrates who oppose same-sex marriage to place their religious beliefs above their sworn duty.
    The N.C. bill was passed June 11 after being vetoed by Gov. Pat McCrory and subsequently overridden by the General Assembly. Two weeks later the U.S. Supreme Court decided same-sex marriage is a 14th Amendment right, making it legal in all 50 states.
    Meghann Burke, an attorney in the suit, told the Citizen-Times, “Senate Bill Two seeks to undermine the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling and uses taxpayer funds to promote a single, particular religious viewpoint. … When a magistrate is acting within his or her official capacity, he or she is the government. Government has no right to establish, promote, or respect a particular religious viewpoint.”
    The lawsuit states, “[Senate Bill Two] deliberately and maliciously, compromises, impairs, and violates the constitutional integrity of the judicial system that must guarantee due process of the law to gay and lesbian citizens.”
    Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, said, “While these activists may now have a right to homosexual marriage, they do not have a right to force dissenters to perform it,” according to a Citizen-Times report.
    The suit was filed Dec. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

    12/9/2015 4:24:14 PM by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: lawsuit, North Carolina, same-sex marriage

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