SameSexMarriageRALEIGH — The state House gave final approval Thursday to an opt-out bill that allows magistrates to decline to perform any marriages, and the governor released a statement saying that he would veto the legislation.

After a federal appeals court overturned North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage last year, the Administrative Office of the Courts directed magistrates to perform marriages for same-sex couples or face disciplinary action.

Bill supporters say it creates a reasonable accommodation for public officials who feel performing a same-sex marriage is against their religious beliefs. But opponents say the bill is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

“That’s all this bill does. It applies the principles of Title VII and the principles of the government Employees Rights Act to a particular circumstance that we have here. I wish the bill wasn’t necessary. It is necessary. I encourage you to vote for it,” said Rep. Paul Stam, Wake County.

Both sides says it’s not the end if same sex couples want to get married. The bill has a provision saying a judge or another magistrate must be available to perform the marriage. State laws also allow an ordained minister or another recognized-religious figure to do the same.

“If a gay couple goes and asked to be married in front of this magistrate, are they being protected equally under the constitution when they are not getting treated the same as when a straight couple goes and tries to get married in front of a magistrate here in the state of North Carolina? That is the opposite of equal protection,” said Rep. Nathan Baskerville, Granville Co.

Statement from Gov. McCrory on Senate Bill 2:

“I recognize that for many North Carolinians, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, we are a nation and a state of laws. Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath; therefore, I will veto Senate Bill 2.”

The governor has 10 days to officially veto the bill. The question then becomes if there will be enough votes from state lawmakers to override his veto.