The North Carolina legislature yesterday sent a bill to Governor Pat McCrory giving magistrates the right to decline to perform a lawful marriage ceremony if doing so would violate sincerely held religious beliefs. Governor McCrory vetoed the bill, and issued this statement:
I recognize that for many North Carolinians, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, we are a nation and a state of laws. Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, 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; therefore, I will veto Senate Bill 2.
Analysis of the vote by the Charlotte Observer indicates the legislation may not have the 60% support necessary to override the Governor’s veto.
About 61 percent of the legislators voting Thursday supported the bill, but 10 House members were absent or didn’t vote.
The Interfaith Alliance released a statement applauding the veto.