North Carolina Same Sex Marriage Case Study

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Imagine with me that a close friend of yours can finally marry their same- sex partner. Eager to wed, the couple organizes a small ceremony at the local court house. They plan a reception afterwards and their families fly into town to celebrate with them. However, once they get to the courthouse, all of the officials refuse to marry the couple based on their religious views. This scenario is currently taking place in the McCrory County of North Carolina, where every official refuses to perform a same-sex wedding, despite its legality. In North Carolina, the state legislation’s religious recusal law enables state magistrates to refuse to marry homosexual couples. The law is currently being challenged in federal courts since the 2015 Supreme …show more content…
Lesbian couple, Diane Ansley and Cathy McGaughey are plaintiffs in the case. After being together for fifteen years, the women celebrated the Supreme Court ruling and were excited to finally get married. However, none of the state magistrates in the conservative McDowell County were willing to wed a same-sex couple. The women sought the representation of attorney Luke Grass as a result of their discrimination. Ansley and McGaughey believe that they are not being treated as equals to heterosexual couples if magistrates will not marry them. Grass argues that because gay citizens are tax-payers whose money funds the magistrates’ salaries; they are entitled to the magistrates’ services. Additionally, LGBT people are entitled to be wed by state employees because the Supreme Court ruling granted them equal protection under the Fourteenth …show more content…
District Judge Max Cogburn, appointed by President Obama, believes that religious recusal is not directly harming the couples effected. Stating that if a magistrate refuses to marry someone, another magistrate can come in to complete the task. In McDowell, a magistrate had to come in from another county in order for Ansley and McGaughey to espouse. While this might seem acceptable, it is important to understand that bringing in magistrates from other counties is a delay tactic that creates inefficacies in the government. The state government is attacking Ansley and McGaughey by forcing them to delay their marriage, an action that non-minorities would not tolerate.
Worst of all, Judge Cogburn is unable to recognize the emotional damage that religious refusals are bringing to the gay community. Once ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in the country, United States employees have an obligation to carry out the law. It is emotionally harmful for the federal government to promise same-sex couples rights, then to have those rights torn from them by their state. Ansley and McGaughey have said that their experience with religious recusal was personally damaging because it contradicted the Supreme Court ruling they believed insured them the right to

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