Republicans refuse to accept the inevitable when they have lost on an issue. This is especially true of bigoted hate mongers. Now the issue of whether a state may nullify a federal law was decided in the civil war. Now North Carolina wants to extend the power to nullify to individual government employees.
Since marriage equality’s arrival in North Carolina this month, at least two magistrates have resigned from their roles in the state judicial system to avoid having to officiate marriages for same-sex couples. This week, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R) said he will introduce legislation that allows officiants [sic] to refuse to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs.
According to Berger, who is continuing to fight the marriage equality ruling with House Speaker and Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R), “The court’s expansion of the freedoms of some should not violate the well-recognized constitutional rights of others.” He doesn’t believe complying with marriage equality should “require our state employees to compromise their core religious beliefs and First Amendment rights in order to protect their livelihoods.”
In his resignation letter, Rockingham County Magistrate John Kallam, Jr. said that he believes marrying same-sex couples “would desecrate a holy Institution established by God Himself.” Swain County Magistrate Judge Gilbert Breedlove said that he resigned because performing a same-sex marriage “was just something I couldn’t do because of my religious beliefs.” According to his reading of the Bible, “marriage is between a man and a wife; any other type of sexual activity other than that is what is defined as fornication.”… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Think Progress>
When it comes to Judge Breedlove, I disagree completely with his beliefs, but I respect his right to have his beliefs. However, his job is performing a service, and same sex couples are Constitutionally guaranteed the right to have that service performed. If he cannot do that job without violating his beliefs, he was absolutely right to resign. I respect that.
On the other hand, Berger is trying to say that the right to freedom of religion congers the right to demy the rights of others, and it just does not work that way.
Leviticus 25:44 gives me the right to possess slaves as long as they are purchased from a neighboring country. Now if Berger is right, than I get to exercise my right to own a Canadian, but sadly, Canadians have the right not to be held as slaves, so I must sadly accept that their right to freedom supersedes my religious right to own one. Dang!!
A political party, whose politicians would confer the right to violate the rights of the others is not fit to govern.