RALEIGH, N.C., September 8, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - More than 30 officials from North Carolina are refusing to perform same-sex "weddings."
Since a law passed in June allowing officials with a "sincerely held religious objection" to opt out of performing marriages, the state court system claims to have received notices from around five percent of its 670 judges.
The law, according to its sponsor, state senator Phil Berger, is preventing a rise in situations similar to the one in Kentucky, where Kim Davis, a Rowan County clerk, refused to issue licenses following the legalization of same-sex "marriage" and was subsequently sent to jail.
According to Berger, the law is "keeping folks from having to choose between their jobs and their religious beliefs."
The law passed despite a veto from Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and took effect on June 11. It exempts all North Carolina magistrates, assistants and deputy registers of deeds from performing marriages — of any couples, heterosexual or homosexual — for at least six months after notifying their bosses of religious objections.
Immediately following the law's enactment, about a dozen recusals were submitted, according to the North Carolina Association of Registers of Deeds.
The names of the 32 officials are being withheld by the Administrative Office of the Courts on the grounds of confidentiality.
Since the passing of the law, "gay rights" activists have been entreating couples to contact their offices if and when they are denied a license. No lawsuit has been filed, but many speculate the activists are building a basis of litigation to dispute the law.
The American Civil Liberties Union North Carolina representative Sarah Preston stated in a release that it was troubling to hear that some government officials would refuse to do a part of their job. However, she went on to say "it's clear that the vast majority of magistrates are more than willing to serve all members of the public fairly and equally."
The North Carolina officials and Kentucky clerk Kim Davis aren't the only ones taking a stand against the Supreme Court's decision. In Oregon, a county circuit judge is being investigated following his decision not to perform same-sex "weddings," and in Alabama at least 10 counties — potentially 15 — have stopped issuing marriage licenses together.
In Granbury, Texas, Hood County clerk Katie Lang was ordered by a federal court to begin issuing licenses to gay couples after she had adamantly refused to do so.