Greensboro News & Record columnist Susan Ladd does a great job of skewering state Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s ridiculous “religious freedom” for magistrates legislation today in this essay.
“It’s appalling that the first order of business for our state legislature would be to reinstate Jim Crow. Or should we call it James Crow? Jane Crow? Jim Crow 2.0?
Discrimination by any name smells just as sour.
But discrimination is precisely what the bill introduced Wednesday by state Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) allows. Currently titled the Magistrates Recusal of Civil Ceremonies, the bill falls under the general heading of “religious freedom” laws sweeping the country after the legalization of same-sex marriage in many states.”
She goes on:
“Though this bill is narrower in scope than ‘religious freedom’ laws that have been attempted in other states, it still legislates discrimination and limits the rights of groups that could be targeted by a religious objection….
Because this bill doesn’t specify, however, magistrates presumably would be free to recuse themselves from performing other marriages that violated their religious beliefs. Religion is a very malleable thing, having been used to object to all kinds of practices. But let’s take an obvious case.
A magistrate opposed to interracial marriage simply could cite the passage used by the Virginia circuit court judge in 1959, when he convicted Richard and Mildred Loving of the crime of interracial marriage.”
Here’s the excellent conclusion: