Idiocy exposed in N. Carolina religion bill
In 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man – pictured above – were married in the District of Columbia. The Lovings returned to Virginia shortly thereafter.
The newly-weds were then charged with violating the state’s anti-miscegenation statute, which banned inter-racial marriages. The Lovings were found guilty and sentenced to a year in jail – but the trial judge agreed to suspend the sentence if the Lovings would leave Virginia and not return for 25 years.
The godly Virginia judge based his decision on biblical teaching, stating:
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
Why bring up the case now?
Because it was referred to this week in this Slate report about a shocking bill in North Carolina that, if passed, will allow magistrates to refuse to perform civil marriage ceremonies not only for gays couples, but any couple, so long as they can articulate a religious objection to the marriage.
That, says Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern:
Gives racist magistrates an excellent opportunity to refuse to marry interracial couples.
It uses the same language about protecting individuals’ religious objections, and it arose out of the same concern that spurred the Indiana law: the arrival of same-sex marriage in the state through judicial fiat.
But that’s where the similarities end. North Carolina’s bill is actually far more radical than Indiana’s, a dramatic expansion of civil servants’ right to inflict discrimination on others with the full endorsement of the government.
The Indiana law allowed ‘compelling governmental interests’ to trump religious exercise – but the North Carolina bill has no such upper limit.
In effect, the bill declares that protecting civil servants’ right to discriminate on the job is more important than anything else. All a magistrate need do under the bill is declare that she holds a religious objection to issuing a marriage license to a certain couple, and she can legally turn them away.