NC Governor to veto anti-same sex marriage bill, but senate set to overrule
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has said he will veto a bill widely condemned as an anti-LGBT discriminatory measure, hours after the state House passed it on Thursday. The bill would allow magistrates and registers of deeds to opt-out of serving LGBT couples seeking civil marriage services and ceremonies.
The bill was passed Wednesday on its second reading 65-45 after nearly two hours of debate. Additional debate was heard on Thursday and passed by 67-43.
The bill now heads to Gov. Pat McCrory, who said Thursday he will veto the measure.
In March, McCrory expressed reservations on the bill and said he wouldn’t sign it.
“I don’t think you should have an exemption when you took an oath to uphold..the constitution of North Carolina,” McCrory told media at the time.
In a statement Thursday entitled “Governor McCrory defends Constitution,” McCrory said: “I recognize that, for many North Carolinians, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, we are a nation and a state of laws. Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath.”
The state Senate easily has enough votes to override McCrory’s veto.
The same bill passed in the Senate in February 32-16.
But the House might not be able override the veto. The final House vote on the bill came to 67-43 — not enough votes to override the governor’s decision if all members are voting and present.
Several House Republicans voted against the bill on Wednesday and Thursday, including some members of GOP caucus leadership and Mecklenburg Reps. John Bradford and Charles Jeter.
Advocates with Equality North Carolina praised McCrory’s veto decision.
“We applaud Gov. Pat McCrory’s promise to veto this discriminatory legislation and call on our legislature to follow their own oath to protect all North Carolinians by sustaining that veto,” Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro said in a statement. “Both actions will send a strong message that no public official is exempt from the constitution they themselves have sworn to uphold and that all North Carolinians deserve equal access to state services under the law.”
Qnotes is the LGBT arts, entertainment and news publication based in Charlotte, N.C. With a strong and robust presence online at goqnotes.com, and a free print circulation of approximately 10,000 distributed every other week, we are the largest and most trusted source of news, politics, opinion, entertainment, art, lifestyle, community events and more for LGBT North Carolinians and South Carolinians.
The North Carolina governor cited costs of litigation, noting that his state is also the defendant in a lawsuit filed against him by the Dept. of Justice on similar grounds.September 19, 2016
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