Magistrates Opt Out |of Doing Gay Marriages

     (CN) – Four magistrates in a North Carolina county have recused themselves from performing same-sex marriages, citing the state’s religious exemption law that was enacted in June.
     McDowell County is handing over their work to magistrates in nearby Rutherford County, who have agreed to drive to McDowell to provide the marriage services three days a week for at least 10 hours as required by law.
     The new law allows the chief district court judge to assign judges from other counties to make sure marriages are performed in a county where there are not magistrates available because of recusals. Rutherford and McDowell are in the same judicial jurisdiction.
     In compliance with the state law, the McDowell magistrates who have recused themselves cannot perform any kind of marriage for six months.
     The religious exemption measure was vetoed by Gov. Pat McCrory, but the General Assembly overrode the veto, allowing those with religious objections to same-sex marriage to be accommodated for their religious beliefs. According to lawmakers who backed the measure, the law brings into balance the rights of all taxpayers to get their marriage licenses and the rights of those with religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman.

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