The battle between gay marriage and religious beliefs continues in North Carolina. Several magistrates have resigned their appointed positions instead of conducting marriage ceremonies between homosexuals: men and men, and women and women. Oddly enough, love doesn’t enter the equation when an appointed magistrate invokes religious beliefs while exiting the building. Imagine religious beliefs without love. Those magistrates should ask: What would Jesus do?
Well, instead of asking and waiting for an answer, they resign. That’s chicken. So, Phil Berger, Senate President Pro Tem of the North Carolina General Assembly, has introduced legislation to make it okay for Magistrates to refuse to marry gays and for some Clerks of Court, who claim to follow Jesus but in words only, to not carry out their duties when it comes to serving the gay community. In other words, magistrates and clerks of courts can put religious beliefs above state duties they have sworn with a hand on a Bible to uphold.
Magistrates who resign are gutless as are the Clerks of Court who do the same, invoke religion over sworn duty. Magistrates are appointed, not elected. In reality, before magistrates resign, if they do not serve the public as they are appointed to do, the current senior resident Superior Court judge should remove them. If magistrates who do not follow the law are not fired, the fate of the current senior resident Superior Court judge along with the Clerks of Court who refuse to uphold the duties of the office falls to the voters in the next election. This up or down vote at the polls would be the ultimate test of the law.
But, the honorable Mr. Berger, who doesn’t trust public opinion or possibly the voters, is trying to take that duty away from the voters with his law to protect those appointed officials who run from duty to religion. If these officials do not want to follow the law, they should refuse the appointment or not run for elected office. Mr. Berger’s law may pass; Governor Pat McCrory should veto it otherwise there will be a court case that makes it to the United States Supreme Court and no matter if the court is stacked with conservatives or liberals, the law will be tossed and valuable time and money will be lost.
Dictionary.com word of the day
winnow (verb) [win-oh]: to separate or distinguish (valuable from worthless parts)