May 28, 12:23 PM EDT

N. Carolina lawmakers OK giving officials option to decline to perform gay marriage duties

Gay people discuss their lives
Gays in the Military
Gay Rights Advocates March in DC
DC rights activist talks gays and government
Gay marriage timeline
Interactive: The Faces of Gay Marriage
Gay couples marry in California
Same-Sex Couple Reflects on California Ruling
Iowa Supreme Court's Ruling on Gay Marriage (April 3, 2009)
California Supreme Court's Ruling on Gay Marriage (May 15, 2008)
Latest News
UN rights chief says gays are victims of violent abuse and hate killings all over the world

New Jersey trial to begin on suit claiming purveyors of gay conversion therapy committed fraud

German chancellor's party resists calls to embrace full gay marriage after Irish referendum

Inspired by Irish vote, Australian opposition party proposes law to recognize gay marriage

Gay-rights activists attempting demonstration in Moscow clash with opponents, police detain 15

AP Photo

Gay Marriage

Buy AP Photo Reprints

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina legislators have agreed to give some court officials the option to refuse to carry out same-sex marriage duties based on religious objections.

The House gave final approval to the Senate measure Thursday. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory, who has expressed concerns over giving exemptions to people who take government oaths. McCrory could veto the measure.

Utah is the only other state that's approved such an exemption.

The North Carolina law would apply to magistrates and some registers of deeds employees. They would have to stop performing duties for both gay and heterosexual couples. Elected court officials would fill for marriages if needed.

Opponents said the measure essentially creates discrimination, but supporters say government workers should not be fired for their religious beliefs.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.