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North Carolina Magistrates Recusal for Civil Ceremonies Bill (SB 2)

This law was last updated on Mar 30, 2017


North Carolina


SB 2




Jan 28, 2015


Primary Sponsors: 1
Co-sponsors: 17
Total Sponsors: 18


Conscience and Refusal Clauses, LGBTQ, Religious Freedom

Full Bill Text

SB 2 allows government officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriages due to their religious beliefs.

The law allows magistrates, assistant registers of deeds, and deputy registers of deeds to recuse themselves from performing duties related to marriage ceremonies due to sincerely held religious objection.

Such a recusal would remain in effect for at least six months upon initial notice. The recusing magistrate may not perform any marriage under this law until the recusal is rescinded in writing. The recusing assistant or deputy register may not issue any marriage license until the recusal is rescinded in writing.

If, and only if, all magistrates in a jurisdiction have recused, the chief district court judge must notify the Administrative Office of the Courts. The Administrative Office of the Courts must ensure that a magistrate is available in that jurisdiction for performance of marriages for the times required.


Passed the Senate and House, before being vetoed by Gov. McCrory on May 28, 2015. The veto was overwritten in the Senate on June 1, 2015, and in the House on June 11, 2015.

The law went into effect on June 11, 2015.