Senate Leader Phil Berger Sr. is trying to do a stupid thing. He's going to introduce legislation that allows a magistrate the right to refuse marrying gay couples. Good luck with that, Phil.
The state court system has said any magistrates who refuse to heed the recent federal court ruling striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban are violating their oaths and could face dismissal. Berger said magistrates and registers of deeds who refuse service to gay couples are within their rights under constitutional protections guaranteeing freedom of religion.This is mess, and it's not going to fly. But if he feels determine to do so... go for it and fail in abundance.
"The court's expansion of the freedoms of some should not violate the well-recognized constitutional rights of others," said Berger, R-Rockingham. "Complying with the new marriage law imposed by the courts should not require our state employees to compromise their core religious beliefs and First Amendment rights in order to protect their livelihoods."