Regarding the June 2 news article “Veto overridden, abortion bill OK’d”: When overriding Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of the discriminatory bill that would exempt magistrates from performing marriages if they have a religious objection, Senate leader Phil Berger spoke for his fellow conservatives: “Just because someone takes a job with the government does not mean that they give up their First Amendment rights.”
Berger and other state GOP legislators don’t understand that free speech and performance of job duties are two different things for government officials. If a same-sex couple decides to get hitched at a magistrate’s office, the magistrate can tell the couple he disapproves on religious grounds, but he must, by law, perform the ceremony anyway. As the couple leaves to celebrate, they can tell the magistrate that they disapprove of his poor customer service, but appreciate the marriage certificate.
Everybody’s First Amendment rights have been preserved, and everybody’s legal.