Three couples have filed a legal
challenge to Senate Bill 2, a North Carolina law that allows some
court officials to opt out of duties related to marrying gay and
The bill became law in June after
lawmakers overrode Republican Governor Pat McCrory's veto.
The law allows some register of deeds
workers who assemble licenses and magistrates who solemnize civil
marriages to stop performing all marriages if they have a “sincerely
held religious objection.”
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are: Diane
Ansley and Cathy McGaughey, a married couple; Carol Ann Person and
Thomas Person, a married couple; and Kelley Penn and Sonja Goodman,
an engaged couple.
Ansley and McGaughey were plaintiffs in
one of the cases that struck down Amendment One, North Carolina's
voter-approved constitutional amendment excluding gay couples from
marriage, on October 10, 2014, General Synod of the United Church
of Christ v. Reisinger.
“Senate Bill 2 expressly declares
that their religious beliefs are superior to their oath of judicial
office to uphold and support the federal constitution,” said Luke
Largess, lead counsel in Ansley v. North Carolina. “And the
law spends public money to advance those religious beliefs. That is
a straightforward violation of the First Amendment.”
LGBT advocates the Campaign for
Southern Equality and Equality NC are coordinating the campaign that
will accompany the case.