Judge Tosses Challenge to NC Law, Allows Magistrates to Avoid Same-Sex Marriages

Three couples are appealing to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, after a federal judge dismissed their challenge of a law in North Carolina that allows magistrates to cite religious beliefs for not performing same-sex marriages.

The plaintiffs were three couples — one interracial and two homosexual — that challenged the law. The judge dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to bring the case, emphasizing that none of the six individuals could show evidence that they were personally affected by the law.

However, U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn noted that someone could potentially suffer harm under the law.

Roughly five percent of magistrates in North Carolina have filed recusal notices under the religious-objection law, according to the Associated Press and the CBS affiliate, WNCN.

Republican North Carolina state Senator Phil Berger applauded the court’s decision, issuing a statement reading, “We appreciate the court recognizing the plaintiffs failed to identify even one North Carolinian who was denied the ability to get married under this reasonable law which protects fundamental First Amendment rights.”


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