32 NC magistrates opt out of marriages, won’t face penalties – News & Observer


As a county clerk in Kentucky heads to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses, 32 North Carolina magistrates have opted out of performing marriages.

Their actions are legal under a controversial state law that allows magistrates and register of deeds employees to recuse themselves from marriage duties if they have a “sincerely held religious belief” – such as an objection to same-sex marriage.

The recusals represent 4.8 percent of the state’s 670 magistrates, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts. The state isn’t releasing the magistrates’ names or the counties in which they work, arguing that the recusal forms are a confidential personnel record.

Senate Bill 2 was approved in June after both the House and Senate voted to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto. (Source: Read more)

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