Breaking: The end of marriage in North Carolina

RALEIGH - In a shrewd legislative maneuver, Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger today ushered North Carolina into a new post-coital era. The end of marriage is upon us.

"We're letting any public official who wants to opt out of marrying queers do just that," says Berger. "Unfortunately, they'll also have to opt out of marrying anybody else too. But whatever. At least queers won't be getting hitched."

The new law promises to decimate marriage in North Carolina. Magistrates, county clerks, registers of deeds, and everyone else involved in marriages can now say, "Thanks, but no thanks," knowing they have job protection no matter how little work they actually do.

"That's fine by me," says Berger. "I'm all for white Republican Christians getting paid to sit on their asses. It's only darkies that get under my skin."

In response to the action, a spokesperson for the North Carolina ACLU shook her head and laughed. "Here we go again," she said. Extremists passing laws that won't pass any constitutional smell test. So now the state will be spending millions of taxpayer dollars defending this crap in court."

UPDATE: Read the bill itself. And then encourage every public official you can think of to "just say no" in enabling any marriage.

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Kirk Ross wrote:

Kirk Ross wrote:

Under the bill, magistrates and register of deeds would have the right to recuse themselves from performing all lawful marriages “based upon any sincerely held religious objection.” The bill would prohibit disciplinary action based on a “good-faith recusal,” which would last for at least six months. If all magistrates in the county refuse to perform marriages, the duty would go to the chief District Court judge or an outside magistrate. Marriages would have to be available at least 10 hours a week.

As I understand it, if an official wants to opt out, they have to opt out for six months and can't perform any of their marriage-related duties during that time. District Court judges or outside magistrates could opt out too? What if everybody opts out? Does that mean no body could get married in North Carolina? Would the state find itself in the position of forcing an exempted official to comply?

Berger opens a can of worms.

The more likely result

is that magistrates who don't have a problem with same-sex marriage will end up busting their asses trying to do their job and the job of somebody else, without being paid extra, and the ones who normally wouldn't give a shit either way will decide to opt-out as well, just to avoid the unfair work distribution.

And when the system does grind to a halt, who will everybody blame? Not Berger or any other elected officials. No, the blame will fall on LGBT folks and "activist" judges.

Yeah but

That's why I favor wholesale action by magistrates, clerks, and registrars, designed to shut down that whole thing. In this case, "that whole thing" is the state's involvement in the institution of marriage.

"You can't get married here," will be our new state motto. Just what the ass hats wanted!

Win-win: They get paid & heralded for "taking a stand"

Thanks for writing this piece, James.

The statements by supporters are appalling:

For instance, framing the striking of Amendment One as granting "special rights" to LGB North Carolinians:

"While the courts have taken steps to provide special rights to some, we must not ignore the constitutionally protected rights of others," says Senate Leader Phil Berger (as quoted in Huff Post).

Or, playing to people's anti-intellectualism by saying that the federal judges who struck Amendment One are different and privileged: Senator Buck Newton's comment, “some wise old judges that think they know better than us, that they know more than God” (as quoted by Charlotte Observer).

Buck Newton's other comment

shows why his ignorance makes NC a national embarrassment.

"You're born into your race. I don't know about sexual orientation," he said.

And this man is making laws in the state of North Carolina.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Religious freedom for those who practice the correct religion

One of the twisted Christians who comprise the lunatic fringe base to which Berger & Newton are playing stated very clearly what this is all about (hint: it's not about religious freedom) [emphasis mine]:

"Magistrates should not have to choose between exercising their Christian values and keeping their jobs, and we will not allow this issue to be demagogued by insinuating that there are magistrates who would, on religious grounds, oppose interracial marriage," Bishop Patrick Wooden of Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh said in a statement.

It's not about religious values. These people would be spitting daggers if a Muslim magistrate refused to carry out sworn duties for women, based on his interpretation of Islam. No, this is about the same, tired old bigotry of people who claim to be Christians and attempt to rationalize their twisted beliefs with the Bible.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

I'll have the word salad, please

Upper Room Church of God in Christ

With a side order of WTF dressing...

Rhetorical machinations, it's where it's at

The road to "victory":
a. Educational policy ( arts and humanities.out the window, high-stakes testing the rule, funneling money and other resources to religious indoctrination centers, glorifying STEM, and reinforcing that the only value of education is job creation)

b. so that no one is equipped to actually critically think about the twisted rhetoric coming out of these people --rhetoric that sounds decent, even honorable, on the surface, what with its appeals to rights, being even-handed, etc.

3. while deregulation.and ensuing corporatization.of media and other informational channels have given certain speakers undue power to get their views out there and shape public opinion.

Argh!

And, yeah, what can of worms does this open (who else will claim their religious liberties are being violated when they're at work?), and what will happen when the exemption is used by magistrates to not marry inter-racial couples or sign off on divorce decrees?

Can of worms

Suppose I'm a firefighter who has a "sincerely held" religious conviction that prevents me from responding to fires at atheists' homes?

Suppose I'm an EMT with a "sincerely held" religious conviction that prevents me from administering care to transsexuals?

Suppose I'm a police officer with a "sincerely held" religious conviction that prevents me from protecting and serving Wiccans?

When you're a public servant, you serve the public. All of the public.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014