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North Carolina governor vetoes bill that grants religious exemption from gay marriage duties

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has vetoed a religious exemption bill that would allow some court officials to avoid gay marriage duties.

The Republican governor announced his decision Thursday — hours after lawmakers gave their final approval to the measure. His office says he vetoed it shortly after the announcement. The legislature must decide whether to override that veto.

The bill gives magistrates and some register of deeds workers the ability to avoid duties for all marriages if they have a "sincerely held religious objection."

McCrory says he believes public officials who swear to support and defend the Constitution and to carry out their duties shouldn't be exempt from upholding their oath.

The House and Senate both have passed the bill by margins above the threshold needed to override a veto.

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