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N.C. House delays veto override vote on gay marriage objections bill

N.C. House delays veto override vote on gay marriage objections bill
North Carolina state capitol in Raleigh.
North Carolina state capitol in Raleigh.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina House adjourned for the weekend Thursday without formally deciding whether to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of legislation allowing some government officials to avoid performing gay marriages because of religious beliefs.

The vetoed bill was listed on the House agenda but not acted upon for a second consecutive day. The Senate voted earlier in the week to override McCrory’s May 28 veto. Both chambers must agree by a three-fifths majority to enact the law over McCrory’s objection.

House Rules Chairman Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, said a vote hasn’t occurred because a few members were absent this week and “we wanted to wait until our caucus was up to full strength and then consider the matter.”

But Lewis acknowledged some fellow Republicans “are on the fence” about an override and seeking answers to questions so that they can vote “based on their own conscience.”

He gave no date on when the vote would take place but said the bill will remain on the daily agenda until a vote or Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, decides there will be no vote – thus allowing the veto to remain in place. The House reconvenes Monday evening.

McCrory told reporters Thursday he believes “there’s a lot of arm-twisting going on” at the Legislative Building over the veto and said he would hope they would act “within a reasonable period of time.”

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Some Democrats have complained that the state constitution requires an immediate action by each chamber on reconsidering a bill in light of a veto. House Republicans under the leadership of then-Speaker Thom Tillis held onto vetoed legislation for months while waiting for an opportune time to consider an override.

“I hope we don’t repeat those practices that we used to criticize in the past,” said McCrory, also a Republican.

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