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GOP: Proper for officials to refuse to marry gays

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Twenty-eight Republicans in the North Carolina Senate are urging state courts administrators not to punish employees who refuse to marry gay couples based on religious objections.

The group led by state Senate Leader Phil Berger Sr. on Friday issued a letter to the director of the NC Administrative Office of the Courts asking him to reverse course on an earlier directive ordering magistrates to perform civil weddings for gay couples or face dismissal from their state jobs. A federal judge struck down the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage earlier this month, part of a wave of rulings nationwide declaring such state prohibitions unconstitutional.

All but five GOP senators signed the letter, claiming the requirement to marry gay couples violates religious freedoms. At least two magistrates have chosen to resign.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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