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NC GOP Senators support bill that would codify same-sex and interracial marriage rights

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(Photo provided by the office of Senator Thom Tillis)
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North Carolina's U.S. Senators are among the 12 Republicans who joined Democrats in supporting a bill that would codify same-sex and interracial marriage rights.

North Carolina's U.S. Senators are among the 12 Republicans who joined Democrats in supporting a bill that would codify same-sex and interracial marriage rights.

This week, Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis took a preliminary vote to advance the Respect for Marriage Act, after adding in language that they say protects religious freedom.

Tillis was speaker of the North Carolina House in 20-12 when he supported an amendment to the state Constitution that banned same-sex marriage. But he said he supports this bill because it also protects religious organizations from losing tax-exempt status if they refuse to recognize same-sex marriages.

"Why not take some time to provide certainty to these families and take the opportunity to provide greater protections for religious freedom?" he said.

Tillis says he expects the bill to pass the Senate on a final vote when the chamber comes back from Thanksgiving recess.