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A Local Victory For Religious Liberty

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2018 11:51 am

A Local Victory For Religious Liberty

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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March 9, 2018 11:51 am

This week NC Family President speaks with Stephanie Barclay, Counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit, public-interest legal and educational institute with a mission to protect the free expression of all faiths. They discuss a recent legal victory for religious liberty that happened in North Carolina.

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Not only could protect the fighting required by law is with NC family Pres. John Preston thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters today were going to discuss a victory for religious liberty recently took place right here in North Carolina. You may recall several years ago before the US Supreme Court issued its landmark Oberto filled the Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the nation that the North Carolina Gen. assembly passed a bill allowing magistrates to recuse themselves from participating in the solemnization of marriages in North Carolina based upon a sincerely held religious objection will in February. A magistrate from Union County Dale Myrick reached a settlement with the state of North Carolina in a discrimination lawsuit.

She had filed after being forced to resign her job and subsequently losing her retirement benefits when she adjusted her work schedule so she would not have to participate in marriages in Union County are our guest today is Stephanie Barklay a Stephanie's counsel at the Becket fund for religious liberty, which is a nonprofit public interest, legal and educational institute with a mission to protect the free expression of all faiths Stephanie. Welcome to family policy matters. It's great to have you on the show right will Stephanie as we begin our conversation today. If you would give some background on this case.

What events transpired that caused Mrs. Myrick to resign her job as a magistrate in Union County and then file the subsequent legal challenge against the state. Now Myrick with Harry, and in retrospect that the magistrate issued warrant that they own and pump parts of her work included performing the marriage ceremony became legal. She knew her politically prevented her from personally performing wedding ceremony handling. Thank God she hopped there the way to keep her job without violating her connection to need it either had a great position except out that the flowers that she was working when marriage ceremony.

This would let magistrate ship is scheduled for a lot of that pollution would have allowed everyone to get married without delay her embarrassment and began to keep a job at the state government rejected the solution and for scale to keep her fate, she was forced to resign. Losing her retirement and Capulet Stephanie one of the most interesting things about this particular case is that Miss Myrick had made arrangements as you said, with her boss and her coworkers to avoid any sort of conflict within the state government stepped in and said this was an unacceptable solution and essentially forced her to choose between her job and her deeply held religious convictions in your opinion, why was the state so intent on pushing this agenda. When a reasonable accommodation had already been made right and that's exactly what now would dictate that court and interact with the right plot implants really are required to find both solutions religiously contact FYI recently, the federal judge ruled that the state government broke the lock on earth you to let Gail change his schedule and it refused even reasonable reasonable solution government later acknowledged it treated Gail unfairly and entered the financial settlement maker: getting back to back pay and retirement benefits that were unjustly taken from her so I this case is important now that it off the config not government, but if they're going to be a great couple and unwilling to try and find reasonable solution and pipe protect employee of the then there are consequences that the faith and that reasonable solutions are not only good protect dignity of everyone fighting required by law I think that is such a important statement because we seen this in a lot of these instances, as it is with Miss Myrick that she just wanted to appreciate and recognize and honor her deeply held religious beliefs but wanted to do so in a way that was nonconfrontational again a reasonable accommodation to suit the circumstances, but to Psalm that was in in in this case to the state that was not acceptable or appropriate and therefore the courts had to get involved in the state ended up losing in that situation. Found a way reasonable wear provided any capital without delay Myrick and then it could be a win-win solution for both sides of the solution are available if you're willing to look at them and kissed her mind that not only should we look for active lights out required to do just that. It's very positive note, Stephanie based on your legal expertise what's the difference between the future significance of this settlement compared to a possible decision by a court, and certainly create some sort of precedent, but would you consider to be kind of legally binding precedent or a just order sets the stage if similar challenges are rolled in the future by the federal judge before we did have federal precedent and follow letting government player right now that if you're not willing to provide any further reasonable accommodations that they're available even for clear then that the pilot will write precedent that is important to not let because signals even more strongly. Players government that there are significant financial risk blunders are not like to try and find a protect PDF different and diverse workforce and that I think that will be a positive thing that makes a lot of employers that take notice. You are listening to policy matters of resource to listen to our radio show online resources for persuasion in your community This situation is really interesting because so often the religious liberty cases we hear about or brought by same-sex couples, claiming that they have been discriminated against. But in this case, Miss Myrick, a Christian was discriminated against by the government. So how does this particular case fit into the overall landscape of religious liberty cases that were sitting across the country and you're right Myrick discriminated against because this statement willing to provide accommodations for everything that would have provided to galaxy act just about any reason singled out for poor treatment religiously and that is this connection, but I think that is that, like the religiously cases that are percolating in the context of the ETSU and doing the question is are we going to give related people to same protection.

We already provide other groups are not meeting in day masterpiece case Case. For example, Colorado.

The commission there protected the rights and other bakers including a Baker's to turn down job request for cakes they fit very condemning, sexuality, let this turn down orders.

Other sorts of things get a cattle shop that declined to serve pro-life protesters to totally refuse to cater to the Boy Scout there then promptly I gave After making the decision about what messages they are going to court and an important question that masterpiece is are we going to get that same protection, people of faith are they going to be think about pretty favored treatment went down to show that that I think is important for a lot of these indicate that waste to find their ability to protect the dignity of everyone in the right everyone our diverse society orientation. I deeply important that unity of many people. They don't have to be at odds with each other and guess case there is a reasonable solution that protected the dignity of both the federal judge there said that LGBT individuals couldn't get married. Player embarrassment and employers can't target employees because of their faith thinking many of the cases there are ways to find reasonable solution. If one side is trying to go for a winner take all approach where the government has power to take one right view and punish those you disagree, absolutely. So what is the current legal status in North Carolina for magistrates to find themselves with sincerely held religious objections to performing certain marriages in our current cultural climate impacts the lie that makes it so that magistrate have an objection to performing marriage based on the late Out providing getting marriages and counties have to make sure that someone is available to provide services so that any couple, who is entitled to be married under the law will be able to repeat the errors promptly on the basis of the me sound like a reasonable solution in a way to make sure that all magistrate contentious objections are protected North Carolina couples are still able to receive services that are entitled to, and it doesn't have to be a conflict.

Stephanie just a technical question this case the resignation of Mrs. Myrick as a Union County magistrate took place before the Supreme Court's decision in overfilled and also actually before the enactment of Senate bill to the magistrates bill in North Carolina, so did the existence of Senate Bill two and the magistrates protection have significant implications in this particular case, or was it based on the simple fact that Miss Myrick has religious protections in the Constitution and that the government should not attempt to impose its will upon her in a way that would force her to violate those religious beliefs that question right past, but not directly relevant. She could have still won her case without the passage of that lot because her lot with under title VII protection right plots which they that employers have to accommodate employees with different protected classes and find reasonable ways to collect and still protect the paperwork for this protect lot different types of groups. I like this makes it possible for Muslims to take breaks during the day or working mom have a scheduling shift.

Family needs are people with disabilities to receive special equipment that they can do a good job in generally steady. We think that is a good thing we don't just say to someone with this ability. If you can't hear you got it like a job but we wouldn't say that them and title VII says in this case is we can't say that someone for their religious beliefs either hunting for people to think that we, the court made very clear that the state was wrong to say you can't do this 2% or 5% or whatever it is that your job tasks and you just you can't work here, which is essentially what the state did say because of the fact and guess case showed that there was an easy workaround and easy reasonable way to allow the government to accomplish goals while still protecting Gail they violated the civil rights by not considering that I say that that question because we were very supportive family policy Council work towards in support of Senate Bill two of the magistrate in registers of deeds protection bill but I think it is significant in this particular case that this result came about, notwithstanding Senate Bill two and so that that speaks to the fact that the courts the judges and that many of us still all hold to the fact that there are fundamental religious liberty rights that are protected by the Constitution that are intended to continue to exist in our country, despite the many challenges that we see around the country and that the people who believe that their religious liberties have been infringed upon should seek to protect those rights and know that our Constitution is designed to provide that protection. I decided under the competition right sided under offer important action for people of faith, and I think this case is an important reminder that they're not the only group decided protections rapid and we said, but we shouldn't mingle out to be the eccentric uncle of the human eye pretty matter continues to matter in our country enough to get everyone down.

We work our listeners go to learn more about this case in the great work of the Becket fund can go to Debbie Debbie this particular case, Gail Myrick, case one that they can find on our website and learn more about her story great victory. So with that, Stephanie Barclay, I want to thank you so much for being with us on family policy matters and for your dedication to ensuring the protection of religious liberty rights for people of all faith matters only to listen to our radio show online resources and information about issues important to families in north Carolina website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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