A new piece for the Civitas Institute discusses a recent case filed by two North Carolina magistrate judges who resigned rather than face a potential criminal prosecution for refusing to perform same-sex marriages:
…The plaintiffs are not asking the court to prohibit same-sex couples from being married or to declare that same-sex marriage is illegal. Rather, they are asking for a reasonable accommodation to prevent them from having to choose between keeping their jobs and violating their sincerely held religious beliefs.
If the plaintiffs succeed, they would be allowed to keep their jobs while also practicing their religion. Boyle is expected to argue that this would have no detrimental or discriminatory impact on a same-sex couple that seeks assistance from a magistrate with a marriage ceremony. Rather, this would simply mean that neither of these two particular magistrates would perform such a marriage ceremony. Under the law as currently stated, a same-sex couple is entitled to be married in North Carolina. However, that same-sex couple is not necessarily entitled to have either of these two particular magistrates perform the marriage ceremony. The argument goes that so long as these magistrates do not perform any marriage ceremonies for any couples, there is no unequal treatment.