A wild ride in North Carolina!
Earlier this year, the legislature passed a bill that would protect the people’s religious freedom during the onslaught of special rights for homosexuals. Magistrates who opposed the redefinition of marriage to include two people of the same sex could recuse themselves from participating in the the farce.
Gov. Pat McCrory, usually a thoughtful conservative, said he’d veto the bill. And he did.
“I recognize that for many North Carolinians,” he’d said, “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.”
The First Amendment’s religious freedom guarantee protects Christians from this sort of thing. Vowing to uphold the state’s constitution doesn’t require an individual to do what he considers a violation of his faith. Fortunately, Republicans in the North Carolina legislature have a veto-proof majority. The state senate override the veto, now the measure is in the house. An excerpt:
“If someone takes a job, they don’t park their First Amendment rights at the door,” sponsor Phil Berger declared. “They are entitled to exercise those rights.”
He noted that federal law requires that “reasonable accommodations” be made surrounding the convictions of religious employees. House Speaker Tim Moore has made similar notations.
“Senate Bill 2 is necessary because a bureaucracy failed to make reasonable accommodations, and instead forced some magistrates to make an impossible choice between their core religious beliefs and their jobs,” he said.
Photo credit: American Life League (Creative Commons) – Some Rights Reserved