|McDowell County Court House|
As anti-gay as Virginia continues to be in terms of anti-gay laws that remain a part of the Code of Virginia, since the Republican Party gained a majority in the North Carolina legislature, North Carolina has made Virginia begin to look down right gay friendly in comparison. Now, however, the North Carolina GOP's willing self-prostitution may be beginning to bite the Republican political whores in the ass. Why? Because in their rush to debase themselves to the Christofascists in the GOP base , the GOP controlled North Carolina legislature passed legislation that allows every magistrate "the right to recuse from performing all lawful marriages...based upon any sincerely held religious objection." In McDowell County, all of the magistrates who perform civil law marriages have opted to use the special rights legislation to refuse to do their jobs. As Newsweek reports, now magistrates must be imported to perform legal marriages as mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court. The take away is that either public officials need to perform the duties of their office or resign. There should be no special rights for bigots who cling to the Bible to justify their bigotry. Here are article highlights:
Officials in McDowell County in North Carolina are being forced to ship in magistrates from neighboring Rutherford County after all four of McDowell's magistrate judges recused themselves from performing marriages—gay, straight or otherwise. The magistrates invoked their rights not to perform marriages under the state's religious exemption law, which allows every magistrate "the right to recuse from performing all lawful marriages...based upon any sincerely held religious objection.""Every single one has said they will opt out and won't do the marriages," Chief District Judge Randy Pool told local television station WLOS . . . . North Carolina passed a law in May allowing magistrates and register of deeds employees to exempt themselves from performing marriages if they have religious objections. The law does not allow state employees to opt out of gay marriages alone, but requires them to abstain from performing any marriages for at least six months.[T]he four magistrates refusing to perform marriages are Thomas T. Atkinson, Jr., Hilary C. Hollifield, Chad A. Johnson and Debra H. Terrell. The McDowell County magistrate's office did not return a request for comment.A municipal clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, Kim Davis, was jailed last week for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses for religious reasons, in defiance of June's Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage. North Carolina's religious exemption law makes such an outcome unlikely in McDowell County.
I am so utterly over the special rights demanded by the Christofascists. The irony is that these cretins don't realize that they have opened the door for every crack pot of every religious persuasion to refuse to do their job and use "sincere religious belief" as an excuse. Do your job or resign! It is really that simple. As for those who call themselves "conservative Christians," as noted before, I personally find it increasingly difficult to view them with anything but total contempt. They are not nice or decent people. They are selfish, self-centered bigots who need to be barred from public office if they will not do their job and socially, they need to become pariahs. No more undue deference to religion or its idiot followers.