Several couples are fighting to renew their challenge against a North Carolina law that lets magistrates decline to perform same sex marriages.

In an appeal filed Monday with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the couples argue that, as taxpayers, they have the right to challenge a law that requires spending of public money to accommodate magistrates’ religious views.

“It is the spending of tax dollars to elevate religion above the constitution, solely authorized by and occurring because of a legislative act, that gives Plaintiffs-Appellants standing to challenge” the law as unconstitutional, the lawsuit states.

A judge in the original lawsuit against the new gay marriage law ruled that two gay couples and an interracial couple lacked evidence of any harm from the law and could not sue.

A small number of magistrates in North Carolina have recused themselves from officiating at any marriages–gay or heterosexual–for at least six months.

The law also allows court clerks to decline to issue marriage licenses if they have any religious objections.

Passed back in June of 2015, North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory actually vetoed the measure, but was overridden by the General Assembly.


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