North Carolina’s religious objection law in court

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Roughly 5 percent of North Carolina’s magistrates are refusing to marry same-sex couples for religious reasons and lawyers for the state say people suing in federal court have no standing to challenge these opt-outs as unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn scheduled a hearing for Monday in Asheville on a motion to dismiss their lawsuit altogether.

Separately, Republican legislative leaders and some magistrates also want to be added as defendants going forward, saying they don’t trust Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper to defend the state law.

Three couples — two lesbian and one heterosexual — say taxpayer dollars are being spent to implement the 2015 opt-out law that treats them as second-class citizens and favors one set of religious views over another.

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