RALEIGH – The chief administrator of North Carolina's courts says Republican party leaders may have misled magistrates on whether they could refrain from performing same-sex marriages.
John Smith, director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, detailed his concerns in a three-page letter to Senate leader Phil Berger, who along with more than two dozen Senate Republicans had asked in an Oct. 24 letter that he revise a directive ordering magistrates to perform civil weddings for gay couples or face losing their jobs.
Several magistrates have quit rather than perform same-sex marriages since two federal judges last month blocked enforcement of the state's gay marriage prohibition approved by voters in 2012. The rulings came when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case that overturned Virginia's similar ban.
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