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North Carolina Anti-Gay Marriage Recusal Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

A bill allowing public officials to opt out of marrying same-sex couples for "sincerely held religious" objections has cleared the state House and now heads to Governor Pat McCrory's desk.

McCroryMcCrory, who expressed concerns about the proposal back in March saying "What is the problem they're trying to solve?" has yet to indicate whether he'll veto the bill, sign it, or let it become law without his signature.

The News & Observer reports:

If McCrory breaks out the veto stamp, Thursday’s House vote tally indicates that a three-fifths majority to override a veto might prove challenging for the Republican leadership. About 61 percent of the legislators voting Thursday supported the bill, but 10 House members were absent or didn’t vote.

McCrory made his position on Senate Bill 2 clear during a Charlotte radio interview in March: “I don’t think you should have an exemption when you took an oath to uphold … the constitution of North Carolina,” he said.

If the governor doesn’t veto the bill within 10 days, it will automatically become law.

LGBT groups are blasting the bill's passage and calling urging for a veto.

“At a time when the N.C. General Assembly should be taking up job protections that apply to all North Carolinians, legislative leaders have instead chosen to waste precious time and resources giving a few anti-LGBT North Carolina magistrates a license to discriminate against taxpaying North Carolina families,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro in a statement. “We call on Gov. McCrory, who has already opposed the premise of this bill, to veto this discriminatory legislation and send a strong message that no public official is exempt from the constitution they’ve sworn to uphold.”


North Carolina House Debates Anti-Gay Marriage Recusal Bill


Happening now, North Carolina's House of Representatives is debating SB#2, a magistrates recusal bill which would allow public officials to opt out of marrying same-sex couples if they have "sincerely held religious" objections to same-sex marriage. The bill cleared a house panel earlier today which allowed it to reach the floor for debate.

WRAL reports:

A House judiciary panel agreed Wednesday to give the option to magistrates and some registers of deeds employees, but they would have to stop performing marriage duties for all couples. [...]

Civil gay marriage ceremonies started last October after federal courts struck down the state's constitutional gay marriage ban.

Rep. Dean Arp of Monroe says the bill would balance requirements legalizing same-sex marriage with the rights of those who believe such unions are morally wrong. But Rep. Grier Martin of Raleigh says the bill would discriminate against gay couples.

You can watch the proceedings LIVE here

If you live in North Carolina, you can contact your legislator and make your opinion on the bill known here.

HRC Warns 12 States ‘Don’t Repeat The Mistakes Of Indiana' In New Media Campaign

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 1.42.53 PM

The Human Rights Coalition launched a new ad campaign asking 12 state governors to reject bills that target LGBT people like the one Gov. Mike Pence passed in Indiana. HRC's new campaign comes after a study conducted by the organization yielded results stating that a majority of Hoosiers believe Pence’s bill is damaging Indiana’s economy. JoDee Winterhof, HRC's vice president for policy and political affairs, warned of the repercussions states could endure if they follow Pence’s example.

Said Winterhof:

"Gov. Mike Pence found that experimenting with anti-LGBT bills that allow businesses to discriminate killed his approval ratings and damaged the Hoosier economy. Governors who go down the same path as Mike Pence and put their state economy at risk in an attempt to further discrimination are going to find themselves at risk of being rejected by the voters."

The results of HRC's study reflects Winterhof's warning as a majority of voters (70% to 24%) believe that businesses should not discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or identity. Surprisingly a majority of Republican voters (58% to 36%) concur. Pence’s approval ratings have since plummeted, allowing for a potential Democratic challenger to make gains in the state. HRC's media campaign officially began today on social media in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Although Pence attempted to clarify that official language in the new law would prevent LGBT discrimination, HRC isn’t buying it, noting that the state’s laws are still devoid of any clear LGBT anti-discrimination laws that would grant full protections to LGBT people in the state.

Fatal Shooting of Gay NC College Print Shop Manager Under Investigation as Hate Crime: VIDEO


Kenneth Stancil III was arrested on Tuesday and charged with the murder of Wayne Community College print shop manager Ron Lane, for whom he had once worked before being fired.

Ron-laneStancil killed Lane (right) on Monday near the campus library with a pistol-grip shotgun as part of what authorities say was a calculated plan. Ron Lane was gay and the murder is now being investigated as a hate crime.

Stancil's extensive face and neck tattoos honor the Aryan brotherhood and a face tattoo said to be completed as recently as last week features an '88', said to symbolize 'Heil Hitler'.

Stancil was arrested on a beach in Daytona Beach, Florida shortly after midnight early Tuesday morning after fleeing there following the shooting.

WNCN reports on some of the background and accusations in the case:

A relative of Lane's said that Lane fired Stancil for bringing drugs to the workplace. School officials, however, said Stancil was dismissed from the school's work-study program for too many absences.

Stancil's mother, Debbie Stancil, additionally claimed Lane "made inappropriate sexual advances toward him," which upset her son.

"He was very upset when the person that's deceased was making advances to him. He told him to stop and he kept on," she said. "I urged him to go to a counselor to tell them and ask to get switched to another work-study before this happened -- the firing."

A spokesperson for Lane's family said any allegations that he made sexual advances toward Stancil are "slanderous."

Stancil accused the victim of molesting his younger brother at a hearing on Tuesday:

"I just want you to know, I ridded one less (expletive) child molester from the (expletive) earth that (expletive) with my little brother. All right? That's all I got to say."

Stancil's mother has denied those claims, and says that Lane never had contact with the brother, according to the AP:

"He had a moment of insanity. I don't know. He just snapped. That is not my son," she said. "He's probably out of his mind. I think he needs mental help."

At least one school administrator does not think Lane was killed because he was making advances:

Brent Hood, coordinator of education support technology at the college, was Lane's supervisor for the past three years. He said he didn't think Lane was killed because he was gay. He said Lane was in mourning because his partner of 12 years disappeared in July and his remains were found months later. Police said Chuck Tobin killed himself.

Lane insisted that Tobin be described as his long-term partner in an email Hood sent to other staffers announcing the discovery.

Stancil appeared at an extradition hearing on Wednesday in Florida's Volusia County and signed documents without protest.

Watch several reports, AFTER THE JUMP...


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NC Gov. Pat McCrory Blasts State's Anti-gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill: 'What Is The Problem They're Trying to Solve?'

Presumably fearing an Indiana-style backlash against his state, North Carolina's Republican Governor Pat McCrory has come out strongly against a proposed "religious freedom" bill, WRAL reports:

Mccrory"What is the problem they're trying to solve?" McCrory asked during Monday's broadcast of WFAE's Charlotte Talks program.

Large parts of the program focused on situations where McCrory had differences with conservative Republicans at the state legislature, particularly in the state Senate.

Senators have already passed a bill that would allow magistrates opt out of performing weddings if they have a "sincere religious objection" to performing particular ceremonies. The measure, which is now making its way through the House, is seen as a way to shield magistrates who do not want to perform same-sex marriages. [...]

During the same discussion, McCrory said he didn't see the need for a broader religious freedom bill that would protect a number of businesses and state officials from liability should they refuse service based on their personal religious beliefs. 

North Carolina Transgender Teen's Suicide Mirrors Death Of Leelah Alcorn: VIDEO

Ashlyn Haffner

A North Carolina mother believes that bullying led to her teen transgender son’s suicide, reports WSOCTV.

Alcorn16-year-old Ashlyn Haffner died close to his family’s Indian Trail home late last month. According to an accident report Ashlyn - who went by the name Ash - stepped into the path of an oncoming vehicle, the same way Ohio transgender teen Leelah Alcorn (right) died in December of last year.

Ash’s mother April Quick said the bullying started when Ash decided he wanted to transition from female to male.

Quick found a suicide note on Ash’s iPad that read in part:

“Please be WHO YOU ARE... Do it for yourself. Do it for your happiness. That's what matters in YOUR life.  You don't need approval on who you are.  Don't let people or society change who you are just because they're not satisfied with your image."

At a memorial service outside Porter Ridge High School, where Ash was a student, family and friends lit candles, shared memories of the teen and pleaded for acceptance of all people. The school’s principal said the district is fully cooperating with investigators as they dig deeper into Ash’s death.  

Watch a Fox News report, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

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