Statement on Passage of NC Religious Recusal Law

Chad Biggs and Chris Creech were the first gay couple to be wed in Wake County
From the Secular Coalition for North Carolina.

The Secular Coalition for North Carolina is disappointed that our legislature has chosen to undermine our secular government by allowing officials to pick and choose whether to follow the law “based upon any sincerely held religious objection.” While clearly targeted at discriminating against same-sex couples, the “Magistrates Recusal of Civil Ceremonies” law is worded so broadly that magistrates and deputy registers of deeds will also be able to opt out of performing their duties if they object to interracial marriages, interfaith marriages, or marriages involving a divorced person or secular individual who does not belong to any religion.

Instead of protecting the religious freedom of North Carolinians, this law will create a separate and unequal accommodation for marriage and will likely be challenged in the courts at considerable expense to North Carolina taxpayers. The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are already encouraging any North Carolina couples who encounter new hurdles because of this law to contact their offices. As Governor McCrory stated, it is "a disappointing day for the rule of law and the process of passing legislation in North Carolina."