If you took a job as Magistrate and were faced with marrying a gay couple but in doing so this would violate your religious beliefs, what would you do? NC Senate Bill 2 provides language that would allow you to opt out of performing that ceremony. The same goes for a Register of Deeds who is forced with the task of filing a marriage license yet has a moral obligation not to fulfill this task despite it falling within his/her job description. This is a first amendment issue.
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), who sponsored the legislation. “This bill strikes a critical balance to make sure the freedoms granted to some under recent court orders do not erase the constitutionally-protected rights of others, and the Senate’s action tonight will help ensure it becomes law.”
Many argue that if you can’t perform the duties of that position then you shouldn’t take the job. But what about a Register of Deeds that has held that elected position for, say 15 years, prior to all these social challenges? If you believe marriage should be between a man and a woman as the Holy Bible teaches, then you are forced to either refuse to perform these duties and lose your job or you act against your faith in the eyes of God. This nation was founded by bible believing Christians that believed, as most North Carolinians still believe, that marriage is solely between a man and a woman. Physiologically this would be obvious to anyone, yet there are a whole host of alternative gender identity trends.
Friday, May 29th, Governor Pat McCrory vetoed SB2, but Monday evening the NC Senate reaffirmed this First Amendment protection. Interestingly enough, Article 1, Section 13 of the North Carolina constitution also references this protection ~ “inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences” and states, “no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.”
Senate Bill 2 preserves an element of the US and NC Constitutions. It was passed and ratified in the Senate on this day June 1, 2015 in a two-thirds vote of 32 Aye and 16 No. It now moves to the House where it must pass prior to becoming law.