Oh hey, homo-haters. Congratulations! You did a big thing last week, getting the General Assembly to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of Senate Bill 2. (The House muscled through its override by making sure a bunch of Democrats weren’t around when they voted, NBD. The Senate, always a festering boil of wingnuttery, had no such difficulty.) S.B. 2, of course, was the controversial billnow a law, hooray!that allows magistrates not to perform weddings for gay couples if doing so violates their “sincerely held” religious beliefs or otherwise makes them feel icky.
This is a major victory for you put-upon religious conservatives, who are right now refreshing SCOTUSblog to see if John Roberts has crammed butt sex down your throats and made the baby Jesus cry. And seriously, you guys should glory in your very special moment.
It’s not going to last. (Sorry.)
And it’s going to end up costing us a lot of money, too. (Thanks for that.)
“Senate Bill 2 invites, begs, pleads for a lawsuit to declare it fundamentally unconstitutional,” says Luke Largess, a lawyer from Charlotte-based Tin, Fulton, Walker & Owen, the firm that served as lead counsel in last year’s case striking down Amendment 1.
McCrorya Republican of the Chamber variety, a group that tends not to approve of religious vendettas that scare off rich dudes’ checkbooksmade a similar argument when he vetoed the legislation: It’s probably not OK to allow public employees to deny legal services to legally eligible couples because they don’t approve of how they copulate.
Already the state ACLU has put out a call for any affected couples to contact them, and House Minority Leader Larry Hall, D-Durham, has suggested that a lawsuit is in the works.
“This was legislation by ambush and we continue to have to resort to the court to defend the rights of our citizens because our legislature fails to do so,” Hall said in a statement.
“This law is nothing more than state-sanctioned discrimination,” says Jake Sussman, also of Tin, Fulton, Walker & Owen. “It is a terribly misguided attempt to rewrite what equal protection under the law means. … Neither the U.S. Constitution nor the N.C. Constitution permit any such thing. It is terribly unfortunate that this many elected officials don’t understand that.”
We suspect they’re about to learn their lesson the hard wayand it won’t be the first time.
Earlier this week, in fact, the U.S. Supreme Court turned away another N.C. Republican attempt to codify moral disapprobation into law, this time an ordinance that ordered women who wanted to get abortions to sit through a narrated ultrasound of their fetus, just so they would know that they are very naughty baby-killers and should probably rethink their lives.
Yeah. Turns out that wasn’t quite kosher either.