Anti-gay marriage religious objections bill clears North Carolina House panel

North-Carolina

North-Carolina

Updated: 1:30 p.m. EDT

RALEIGH, N.C. — More lawmakers have formally agreed some North Carolina court officials should be allowed to opt out of same-sex marriage duties based on “sincerely held religious” objections.

A House judiciary panel agreed Wednesday to give the option to magistrates and some registers of deeds employees, but they would have to stop performing marriage duties for all couples.

The bill could reach the House floor later Wednesday. The Senate already has approved the bill.

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Civil same-sex marriage ceremonies started last October after federal courts struck down the state’s constitutional gay marriage ban.

Rep. Dean Arp of Monroe says the bill would balance requirements legalizing same-sex marriage with the rights of those who believe such unions are morally wrong. But Rep. Grier Martin of Raleigh says the bill would discriminate against gay couples.

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