US: North Carolina allows officials to refuse to perform gay marriages

North Carolina House of Representatives overrode Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of a new bill that allows magistrates to refuse to marry any couple if they have a “sincerely held religious objection.” The Senate already overrode the veto, meaning the bill is now law. In addition to exempting magistrates, the measure permits registers of deeds to refuse to issue marriage licenses to any couple on religious grounds. From now on, a magistrate or register of deeds need only assert that serving a gay couple (or interracial couple, or interfaith couple) violates her religious beliefs. As soon as she does, she will be allowed to refuse to do her job.  Read More