Lawsuit filed against Magistrate Refusal Law

RALEIGH, NC — “That’s the essence of the lawsuit: you can’t use public money to advance someone’s religious beliefs,” said Luke Largess with Tin, Fulton, Walker and Ower Law Firm.

Luke Largess’ law firm fought and won overturning the ban on gay marriage. Now they’re taking on Senate Bill 2, the law allowing magistrates a religious exemption to not perform same sex marriages.

“US Constitution. Supreme law of the land every judge has to be bound by oath of office to uphold, so it’s a fundamental American principal of law,” said Largess.

Back in May, Governor Pat McCrory agreed and vetoed the bill. And Wednesday, in response to the challenge of Senate Bill 2, he says his position remains the same.

“I believe we have to follow the Constitution and the oath of office, and I believe that with sanctuary cities also,” said Governor McCrory.

But the State House and Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto and signed the bill into law.

“The fact of the matter is the legislature felt they were doing the right thing, so at some point, if the lawsuit is there and it has merit, then the courts will make a decision on it,” said NC State Senator Bob Rucho.

Now same-sex marriage advocate groups like Campaign for Southern Equality say they want to see the bill overthrown so there is true equality.

“It was clear from the start this bill was about one thing and one thing only: targeting the LGBT community and trying to find a way to breathe extra life into the discrimination that had been enforced under Amendment One,” said Jasmine Beach-Ferrara of Campaign for Southern Equality.

The lawsuit will go before U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn who overturned the ban on same-sex marriage. Both Governor McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper have stated they don’t support Senate Bill 2.