Three couples have challenged North Carolina's law that allows magistrates with religious objections to recuse themselves from marrying same-sex couples.
Citing their religious objections, at least 32 court magistrates have recused themselves from performing marriages under a North Carolina law that was designed to let officials shun same-sex couples, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
Lawyers representing three couples argue that the law is unconstitutional and must be nixed.
Filed in the same federal court that struck down North Carolina’s ban on same-sex couples marrying in 2014, the suit argues the state’s magistrate-recusal law violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments by promoting a religious viewpoint at taxpayer expense and lets public officials violate their oath to uphold the Constitution.
“They are embracing judges who believe as a matter of religious faith that gay people are second-class citizens,” Luke Largess — a lawyer at the firm Tin, Fulton, Walker, & Owen, which is handling the case pro bono — told BuzzFeed News.