Under the Dome

Register says survey shows ‘lack of support’ on marriage bill

A survey of the state’s registers of deeds indicates a lack of support for Senate Bill 2, which is now pending a veto override vote in the House.

The bill would allow some employees in register of deeds offices to opt out of marriage duties. The registers issue marriage licenses. The bill also allows magistrates to choose to not perform weddings. The debate on the bill centered on allowing government employees the ability to exercise their religious beliefs by not being involved in same-sex marriages.

Senate Bill 2 passed in the Senate and the House but was vetoed by Gov. Pat McCrory who said it would exempt public officials from upholding their oaths of office.

The Senate has already overridden the veto by the required three-fifths of the Senate. The votes in the House will be close, and House Speaker Tim Moore has not yet brought an override to a vote. The bill has been on the calendar in case the votes were there.

Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger said he undertook the survey with the assistance of several fellow registers. The survey began last week and closed Monday.

Reisinger said the survey asked respondents “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Senate Bill 2?” In a news release, Reisinger said that 54 registers responded to the survey, with 51 reporting an unfavorable opinion. Three reported a favorable opinion. There are a total of 100 registers of deeds in the state.

The North Carolina Association of Registers of Deeds has not taken a position on the bill.