North Carolina is moving on a bill to protect the consciences and religious beliefs of government officials who deal with marriage.
The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court decision, overturning North Carolina's marriage amendment and paving the way for same-gender "marriage."
John Rustin of the North Carolina Family Policy Council (NCFPC) tells OneNewsNow some magistrates resigned because they felt that performing the ceremonies would violate their religious beliefs.
"So this piece of legislation would allow magistrates, as well as staff of the registers of deeds offices, in North Carolina to recuse from officiating over any marriage ceremonies so that it would provide some protection for them from being forced to violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs," Rustin reports.
An argument was raised in Senate debate that the bill allows for discrimination against homosexuals and lesbians, but Rustin maintains that it merely provides a level playing field.
"We believe that the bill strikes a balance that allows for the issuance of marriage licenses and the performance of legal marriages to take place in North Carolina, but it also protects the religious liberties of these public officials who do have a deeply-held religious conviction that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman," the NCFPC spokesman states.
The Senate has passed the bill and sent it to the House for consideration.