North Carolina Senate overrides Governor’s veto of law permitting discrimination

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The Senate of North Carolina has voted to override Governor Pat McCrory’s veto of the state “religious freedom” bill.

The state followed a number of others in passing an ‘Indiana-style’ religious freedom law, which gives public officials the right to refuse to serve people on the basis of same-sex weddings.

But Republican governor Pat McCrory went on to veto the bill, saying: “I recognise that for many North Carolans, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“However, we are a nation and a state of laws.

“Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath; therefore, I vetoed Senate Bill 2.”

However, the Senate has voted to override Governor McCrory’s veto, and the measure will now pass.

Senate leader Phil Berger said, according to Reuters: “If the federal courts say [same-sex marriages] will be performed, they will be performed. But if someone takes a job, they don’t park their First Amendment rights at the door. They are entitled to exercise those rights.”

But Democrat Senator Floyd McKissick said: “We want to be on the right side of history, not creating loopholes for unlawful discrimination.”

In October, a North Carolina magistrate resigned over his refusal to perform same-sex marriages.