North Carolina's latest legislative battle takes "religious freedom" way too far. In an attempt to ban same-sex marriages, the North Carolina legislature has managed to put all marriages at risk.
The mainstream press outlets describe North Carolina's legislative boondoggle as an anti-gay marriage effort, but the "opt-out" provisions apply to any marriage any local magistrate can find a reason to object to. Interracial couples could be turned away, as could a theoretical marriage between a woman who is not a virgin and a man. It's insane, and the North Carolina legislature just confirmed their irrationality.
The legislation, known as Senate Bill 2, will allow magistrates and registers of deeds to decline to participate in any marriage -- not just same-sex ones -- if they object to the marriage on religious grounds. Critics say it will open the door to all sorts of discrimination, not just discrimination of gays and lesbians, given its vague language.
North Carolina is just one of many states that have considered legislation ahead of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision that would give public officials as well as private businesses the ability to not participate in same-sex marriages on religious grounds. Religious freedom legislation in Indiana and Arkansas thought to be discriminatory to gay people caused a national stir this spring, prompting lawmakers to narrow the laws' scopes.
Even though McCrory said he believes marriage should be limited to heterosexual couples, he opposed the bill on constitutional grounds, arguing, "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.”
Aren't there more pressing issues than which consenting adults decide to marry? It's nullification, plain and simple. Instead of firing the shots at Fort Sumter, they're firing at the Supreme Court.