Richmond Federal Court Asked to Revive Challenge to Gay-Marriage Recusal Law

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court will consider whether three North Carolina couples have legal standing to challenge a law allowing magistrates with religious objections to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

The couples want the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, to revive the lawsuit because they say the state is spending tax dollars to accommodate magistrates' religious views. The couples argue those expenditures give them the right to sue, despite a district court ruling to the contrary. Oral arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

Lawyers from the North Carolina Attorney General's office argue in legal filings that SB2 isn't a true spending program, and it doesn't require substantial outlays of tax money.

Further, they say the law is consistent with the government's obligation not to interfere with the religious beliefs of state workers.

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