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Equality NC Condemns House Passage of Magistrates Refusal Bill, Asks Governor to Veto

Raleigh, N.C. – Equality NC, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, responded today to the passage of a first-of-its-kind magistrates refusal bill exempting certain public officials from issuing marriage licenses without fear of losing their jobs, if doing so “would violate their core religious beliefs.”

Equality NC’s Executive Director Chris Sgro immediately condemned the bill’s final vote in the North Carolina House, calling on North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to veto this ‘license to discriminate’ against taxpaying North Carolina families.

"While the legislation does not specifically single out same-gender couples, opening the door for magistrates to also turn away interracial, interfaith, and other couples, the legislation's purpose is clear: to rehire and protect magistrates who wish to use their personal beliefs to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples seeking marriage licenses," said Sgro.

“At a time when the N.C. General Assembly should be taking up job protections that apply to all North Carolinians, legislative leaders have instead chosen to waste precious time and resources giving a few anti-LGBT North Carolina magistrates a license to discriminate against taxpaying North Carolina families. We call on Gov. McCrory to veto this discriminatory legislation and send a strong message to the N.C. General Assembly that no public official is exempt from the constitution they’ve sworn to uphold.”

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