Equality NC, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, responded today to the North Carolina House’s vote to override Governor Pat McCrory’s veto of Senate Bill 2, the Magistrates Recusal bill. With no warning and no debate allowed, the House’s voted 69-41 to enact the anti-LGBT bill that excuses North Carolina magistrates and other public officials to perform marriage services for couples with whom they do not agree.
Last week, the Senate overrode the veto by a vote of 32-16.
Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro immediately condemned the House vote.
“We are disappointed to see the House vote against the the legal rights and best interests of LGBT people and of the entire state of North Carolina,” said Sgro. “From the business community to local leaders to the governor, North Carolinians have stood up and said Senate Bill 2 is deeply problematic and discriminatory legislation. While it targets same-sex couples, in the process it creates problems for all North Carolinians who seek use of taxpayer-funded public services.”
Sgro added, “The N.C. General Assembly should be focused on creating jobs and expanding public education rather than legislating against settled laws governing the freedom to marry. Equality NC will be working with its partners to determine whether this terrible bill will hold up to legal scrutiny.”
With 110 members present and voting, the override required only 66 votes. The bill passed by three votes, with 10 members with excused absences, many of whom opposed the measure. A list of the final votes: