Courts & the Law, News

North Carolina’s “Magistrate Recusal” Law to be heard in federal court next week

Next Wednesday, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia will hear arguments in Ansley v. Warren, the federal lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 2. SB2, passed two years ago, allows North Carolina magistrates who do not believe in marriage equality to opt out of their judicial oath to uphold the United States Constitution.

Ansley v. Warren challenges Senate Bill 2 under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

LGBT advocates are speaking out against the harms of SB2 ahead of the May 10th hearing:

“This law distorts the true meaning of religious freedom. From the day it was proposed, it’s been clear that SB2 is about one thing and one thing only – finding a new way to discriminate against same-sex couples. We will keep standing up to discrimination until LGBTQ people are equal in every sphere of life,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.

“SB2 is a misrepresentation of one of the most fundamental American core values as it opens the door for discrimination against loving same-sex couples behind a veil of religious freedom. People of faith across North Carolina know that discriminatory bills like SB2 is not what being a person of faith is about,” said Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Equality NC.

According to the Campaign for Southern Equality the plaintiffs include three couples:

  • Diane Ansley and Cathy McGaughey, a married couple and taxpayers in McDowell County who were plaintiffs in General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Reisinger, which struck down Amendment One on October 10, 2014
  • Carol Ann Person and Thomas Person, a married couple and taxpayers in Moore County who were denied the ability to marry in 1976 after two magistrates in Forsyth County claimed that their religious beliefs against interracial marriage would not permit it. (A subsequent lawsuit resulted in a federal judge ordering that the magistrates in Forsyth County comply with Loving v. Virginia)
  • Kelley Penn and Sonja Goodman, an engaged couple and taxpayers in Swain County.

NC Policy Watch Courts and Law reporter Melissa Boughton will have more on this story as it makes its way through federal court.

Check Also

The week’s top stories on Policy Watch

Commentary: 1. Make no mistake. The budget failed ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

North Carolina is projected to gain a U.S. House seat in the coming years, recent data show — a chan [...]

New facilities and policies offer hope to 16 and 17 year-olds once consigned to the adult correction [...]

State Rep. Holly Grange (R-New Hanover) failed to disclose a business owned and operated by her husb [...]

By the time the new Interstate 885 opens in Durham later this year, some of the people who conceived [...]

There is a temptation—and believe me, I understand it—to celebrate the fleeting nature of this week’ [...]

The North Carolina General Assembly is back in Raleigh this week and, as noted in this space last Fr [...]

The post DTH making its mark on Silent Sam settlement appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

A long road remains to be traveled before North Carolinians find out whether they’ll have to show an [...]