Religious Freedom Acts, a.k.a. “the right to discriminate” acts across the country could set us back to pre-civil rights era.
Now it is North Carolina’s turn to make an attempt in passing their own Religious Freedom Act. Not only does it give people who perform marriages the right to opt out of same-sex ceremonies, it potentially gives them the right to opt out of any type of marriage they find objectionable, including interfaith and interracial marriages.
That’s not even the extent of this weird bill. If the House passes it, it could affect all marriages since magistrates and registers of deeds who refuse to perform a marriage would be under suspension from marrying people for six months. That means there could be a huge backlog of people waiting to marry.
“There are only so many people who work in these offices,” Mike Meno, communications director at the ACLU of North Carolina, told MSNBC. “If even one or two of them opts out of performing a marriage, that would create very real, practical burdens for local offices. We’ll potentially see scenarios in smaller counties where it is all of a sudden much more difficult for all couples to get married.”
For a while, it looked like this bill was dead in the water because Governor Pat McCrory (R) vetoed it, despite the fact that he is against same-sex marriage. His reasoning was good:
“No public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath.”
The Senate has already overridden the veto and it’s still unclear whether the House has the necessary 3/5 majority to override, despite the fact that the House is more than 3/5 Republican.
If you live in North Carolina, call your state Legislator.
Here’s the video:
Featured image via Wikipedia.