Contact: Jarod Keith, Campaign for Southern Equality, 828.242.1559; email@example.com
Campaign for Southern Equality
Statement on Passage of SB2 by North Carolina State House
Asheville, N.C. (May 27, 2015) – Moments ago, the North Carolina state House passed a bill (SB2) that would allow magistrate judges and Register of Deeds employees to recuse themselves from providing marriage licenses to or performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples – or any couple at all – if they feel their religious beliefs are being violated. The vote was 66 to 44. This legislation is a direct response to same-sex couples marrying legally in North Carolina and to Amendment One being struck down by the federal courts.
“It is shameful that this bill has passed our legislature. It is nothing more than state sanctioned discrimination and a naked attempt to make a political statement without much care for how it hurts and demeans others. To be certain, if this bill becomes law, it will invite a new round of court challenges. Ultimately, like Amendment 1, this law will fail,” says Luke Largess of Charlotte-based Tin Fulton Walker & Owen and lead counsel in General Synod of the UCC v. Reisinger, the lawsuit that struck down Amendment One last October.
“This discriminatory bill treats gay and lesbian couples as second-class citizens and distorts the true meaning of religious freedom. We urge Governor McCrory to veto this discriminatory bill. We have the freedom to practice religion in our place of worship and to hold private beliefs. But as Americans, we’ve agreed that we will be governed by the principles of equality and fairness in our public and civic life. Senate Bill 2 is discriminatory and rooted in animus – it must not become law,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.
The Campaign for Southern Equality is mobilizing people of faith, the LGBT community and allies to speak out against SB2 as it heads to Governor McCrory’s desk.
The full text of the bill can be read at: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2015&BillID=sb2&submitButton=Go
Based in Asheville, North Carolina, the Campaign for Southern Equality is a non-profit organization that advocates for the full equality of LGBT individuals and families across the South.