Press Release: Gov. McCrory Betrays His Constituents — Forces North Carolinians to Violate their Consciences

By June 1, 2015North Carolina
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June 1, 2015
Contact info: Sheri Miller (704) 542-6984
Mary Frances Forrester (704) 263-1774

Gov. McCrory Betrays His Constituents —
Forces North Carolinians to Violate their Consciences

Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory late Thursday, May 28, vetoed a basic religious exemption bill that would have made accommodations for officials with deeply-held religious beliefs about the definition of marriage from duties related to marriage ceremonies.

CWA of North Carolina State Director Sheri Miller said:

“Senate Bill 2, Magistrates Recusal for Civil Ceremonies, insures that magistrates and registers of deeds would not have to choose between quitting their jobs and violating their deeply-held religious convictions by being forced to marry or assign licenses to same-sex couples.

“Every American is guaranteed the freedom to live and work consistent with their faith without unnecessary government interference. The government shouldn’t have a license to punish Americans for exercising these basic civil rights.

“CWA supports the God-given rights of individuals in the United States and other nations to pray, worship, and express their beliefs without fear of discrimination or persecution.”

Mario Diaz, Esq., CWA’s Legal Counsel, said the governor’s “legal” concerns are unfounded and sounded more like an excuse:

“Gov. McCrory has made a political calculation, fearing a very vocal LGBT lobby. We will see if his calculation pays off for him. But to send out such a statement struggling to make the case that he is acting on principle is embarrassing. If he wants to talk laws, he should give the old Civil Rights Act of 1964 a read. There he would find that Title VII upholds our country’s great tradition of religious liberty by requiring employers to accommodate an employee’s sincerely-held religious beliefs, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship.

“There is no undue hardship imposed on the state in this case by accommodating the religious beliefs of the millions of North Carolinians who believe marriage is an institution created by God as the union between one man and one woman.

“For Christians, a union is so central to our faith; it is a reflection of the very relationship of Christ and the Church.”

CWA of North Carolina Associate Director, Legislative Liaison, and wife of the late pro-family hero Sen. James Forrester (R-Gaston County), Mary Frances Forester said:

“I would respectfully disagree with the good governor’s statement. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects our inalienable right to religious liberty, as well as Article I, Sec. 13 of the North Carolina Constitution, which states that “no human authority shall ever interfere with the rights of conscience.” It behooves us to remember that it was one federal judge who overruled 61 percent of North Carolina voters who voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

“Passing this law is exactly what the governor purports to support and respect: that we are a nation and state of laws.”

In a release sent last week, Senator Berger, President Pro Tempore and SB 2 Primary Sponsor said:

“We respect but disagree with the governor’s decision, since the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees ‘the free exercise of religion.’ A majority of the people’s elected representatives in both chambers agreed that this bill strikes an appropriate balance between the expansion of rights for some and our constitutionally-protected freedom of religion.”

CWA of North Carolina recommends Gov. McCrory give a good read to Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail before he speaks in such terms, for there are such things as unjust laws. And by his veto, he now becomes the chief sponsor of one of them. Forcing citizens to violate this most precious possession — their consciences — in order to keep a job is as basic an injustice as one can imagine.

Concerned Women for America of North Carolina is part of Concerned Women for America,
the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.