Wednesday Wrap: Freedom isn't free

Posted January 28, 2015

— Even before the gavels dropped to open the business session of the General Assembly on Wednesday, what could be the most controversial bill lawmakers face this session dropped in the Senate.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger's bill would allow magistrates to back out of performing same-sex marriages by citing religious objections. The proposal follows the resignation of a few magistrates last fall after they were ordered to marry a same-sex couple following a federal ruling that overturned North Carolina's constitutional amendment barring gay marriage.

Gay rights advocates criticized the bill and a more sweeping "religious freedom" bill that Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, said he plans to file.

Meanwhile, the NAACP and other groups said they might fire up weekly "Moral Monday" protests for the third year if they don't see lawmakers softening their stance on issues such as voting rights, Medicaid expansion and unemployment benefits.

Also, the North Carolina Chamber weighed in on Gov. Pat McCrory's plan for a $1 billion bond for some rural infrastructure projects. Chamber officials said that is a short-term solution, and the state needs a revenue source for up to $10 billion in needs from highways to rail lines to ports.

Once the sessions actually started, House Speaker Tim Moore acted like a legislative Santa Claus, handing out 100 gavels to committee chairs and vice chairs.


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  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 29, 2015

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    Agreed, they just really didn't think this one through.

  • raleighboy524 Jan 29, 2015

    I look forward to the day when a Muslim magistrate in NC declines to do business with an NC Baptist, citing strongly held religious objections.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 29, 2015

    View quoted thread

    If so there isn't anything to celebrate in that pile bovine fecal matter.

  • iopsyc Jan 29, 2015

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    I assume they meant it like an album drop.

  • George Herbert Jan 29, 2015
    user avatar

    The Republicans in the General Assembly have shown their contempt for people still struggling to recover from the recession. Instead of any bills that would improve the economy, they waste time introducing bills that target citizens--bills that if they're enacted into law will certainly be challenged. Perhaps Berger should rename it the Attorney Employment Act.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 29, 2015

    Exactly what new taxes are going to pay for the $1 billion bond? Gov. Pat McCrory had better not start spending money with out a plan to pay for new government spending, who does he suddenly think he is? Obama?

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 29, 2015

    "dropped in the Senate"
    What does that mean? Has it been stopped or given to the Senate to vote on?

  • flyfish42 Jan 28, 2015

    Why waste NC taxpayers' money on bills that are clearly unconstitutional? If passed, this law has zero chance of surviving a court challenge. What's the point?