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North Carolina Religious Liberty Case Dismissed by Federal Judge

North Carolina lawsuit  Ansley et al. v. Warren was dismissed yesterday by Judge Max Cogburn. The lawsuit is against a North Carolina law that allows for religious accommodations {for magistrates} opting out of officiating same-sex marriages and marriage licenses.

2ndVote previously reported about U.S. District Judge Cogburn not issuing a ruling Monday afternoon after attorneys for the State of North Carolina asked the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by three couples that are seeking to force magistrates to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies. However, Judge Cogburn, who struck down North Carolina’s constitutional amendment affirming traditional marriage in 2014 , did claim, “Everyone can get married. And nobody is forced to marry anybody.”

“The Associated Press reports that nearly five percent of North Carolina’s magistrates have invoked the law for the 1st Amendment protections it provides,” according to the Liberty Counsel.

According to the LC’s press release, the district court ruled the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge SB2 because none of the plaintiffs had been denied a marriage license by North Carolina officials.

“The plaintiff’s sole allegation of injury was that recognizing exemptions and protection for magistrates with sincerely held religious beliefs against performing same-sex marriages amounted to discrimination against the plaintiffs, even though all of them had received marriage licenses.”

Currently, North Carolina is just one of two states that has measures protecting the religious beliefs of public officials in regards to same-sex marriage.

Be sure to see which corporations have been fighting against religious liberty protections in North Carolina here.