One Republican Governor Vetoes Bills against Same-Sex Marriages and Undercover Workplace Investigations; Another Allows a Fracking Ban

Monday, June 01, 2015
Gov. Pat McCrory and Gov. Larry Hogan

Two Republican governors of “purple” states have actually refused in a few cases to do the bidding of their corporate backers and have vetoed bills put forward by their conservative colleagues in their state legislatures.


North Carolina’s Pat McCrory, a former Duke Power executive, last week vetoed two bills opposed by progressives. One was an “ag-gag” bill, which would have blocked workers from recording video or sound with the intention of reporting abuses and violations. It was designed to prevent people from taking jobs in agricultural operations with the intention of exposing abuses to animals and poor sanitary conditions. McCrory said, however, that it would have the effect of preventing employees in all industries from reporting illegal acts.


McCrory’s other veto scuttled a law that would have allowed magistrates in that state to decline to perform same-sex marriages. “I recognize that for many North Carolinians, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman,” McCrory said in a news release. “However, we are a nation and a state of laws. Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath; therefore, I will veto Senate Bill 2.”


McCrory may have gotten a little nudge on that bill from John Pope, chairman of the 750-employee Cargo Transporters, based in Catawba County, who threatened to take $20 million worth of business out of state if the law were signed, according to Colin Campbell of the Raleigh News and Observer. “As a company based here that believes in FULL EQUALITY for our employees,” Pope wrote the governor, “we will not sit idly by and let the rogue legislators of this state ruin the business and employee recruiting opportunities for this state.”


In Maryland, that state’s Republican governor has grudgingly allowed an anti-fracking bill to become law. Gov. Larry Hogan supported fracking during his recent campaign to win the statehouse, but took no action on a bill passed with veto-proof margins by the Democratic-controlled legislature to ban the practice for two years within his state. It became law without his signature on Friday.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

McCrory Vetoes ‘Ag-Gag’ Bill (by Mark Binker, WRAL)

McCrory Will Veto Bill Letting Magistrates Opt Out of Performing Gay Marriages (by Colin Campbell, Raleigh News and Observer)

McCrory Veto Statement

Md. Fracking Moratorium to Become Law Without Hogan’s Signature (by Josh Hicks, Washington Post)

Fracking Ban in Maryland Will Go Into Law After Republican Governor Refuses to Veto (by Emily Atkin, ThinkProgress)


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