Religious freedom bill halted in NC House

State of North Carolina
State of North Carolina

RALEIGH — The religious freedom legislation that has drawn criticism in various states will not advance in North Carolina.

House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, held a news conference Thursday and said the time was not right and it “is not the proper path to go,” according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was similar to measures in Indiana — where it passed, but was returned for augmentation — and Arkansas.

The N&O reported businesses like American Airlines and IBM expressed opposition along with Gov. Pat McCrory.

The bill would have allowed business owners to use their own religious beliefs as a basis to decide who they do business with.

There is a similar measure in the North Carolina Senate, however it has not been heard in committee.

Opponents of the measure heralded the rejection in the House.

“This decision is a testament to the actions of thousands of North Carolinians – from business leaders to faith communities to a majority of North Carolina voters – who made their voices heard over the past several months,” said Chris Sgro of Equality NC, in a statement. “While we celebrate this victory for equality, we remain focused on continuing to fight a law that would allow public officials to discriminate against same-sex couples.”

Moore did say the House will take up Senate Bill 2, a bill that allows magistrates to not perform ceremonies if they have a religious objection.