You may not know the names of Thomas and Carol Ann Person. But in the late 1970s, they had a significant case in North Carolina. Attorney Ervin Brown remembers when they came to his office at the Legal Aid Society in Winston-Salem.

"They had been to the magistrate’s office to get married, and they had been turned down for a license," he says.

The magistrate made clear why he denied them.

NC General Assembly

North Carolina magistrates can now opt out of performing same-sex marriages on religious grounds.

When Governor Pat McCrory vetoed this bill 13 days ago he wrote, “No public official who voluntarily swears an oath to support and defend the Constitution should be exempt from upholding that oath.”

The Senate quickly voted to override that veto. But in the House the vote had been delayed for more than a week as Speaker Tim Moore and Republican leadership worked to make sure they had the votes they needed.

Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC

North Carolina Senate leaders have unveiled their new plan to overhaul how the state distributes sales taxes and provides tax incentives to businesses. It gives a bit of ground from a March proposal that drew outcries from the governor, House lawmakers, the Charlotte Chamber, and city officials, but still contains the key elements of that earlier proposal. That includes a big hit to Mecklenburg County’s budget. 

Gwendolyn Glenn

A bill which could change the way your neighborhood looks has made its way to Governor Pat McCrory’s desk.

Under current law, cities and towns can use zoning ordinances to mandate how new homes look on the outside. The type of siding or roof shingles, number and style of windows, in some cases even the color of houses.

Leaders on health policy in the North Carolina House are pushing their version of a bill to overhaul the state's most expensive health care program: Medicaid. The lawmakers rolled out the bill in committee Wednesday.

House leaders want to overhaul Medicaid by putting groups of doctors and hospitals in charge of managing the program. The state would give them a set amount of money based on who they treat, and the doctors would face financial penalties or rewards based on how they do. 

Republican Representative Nelson Dollar is one of the bill's sponsors. 

With the pending U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage expected, and the issue of whether North Carolina magistrate’s should be allowed a ‘religious objection’ to performing same-sex marriages, the culture wars over social issues are still being fought in earnest.

Denise Cross Photography

North Carolina voters will need to take a photo ID along with them to the polls next year.  That ID must by law reasonably resemble the person. The State Board of Election has drafted rules to lay out what that means and is holding public hearings on them across the state, including one in Charlotte Monday night. 

pat mccrory
Governor's office

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory explained Thursday why he does not think that signing new abortion regulations violates a campaign promise.

When McCrory was a candidate for governor, a moderator asked him this question during a debate:

"If you're elected governor, what further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign? I'll start with you, Mr. McCrory," she said.

"None," McCrory replied.

But a bill passed this week will be the second one restricting abortions that McCrory will sign. 

Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC

The process of legislating typically looks more like C-SPAN and less like ‘House of Cards,’ or other TV dramatizations of Washington. But the rules that govern Congress or the North Carolina General Assembly are both dense and malleable—occasionally you’ll see legislators exploit them in a way that seems made for TV. Below are some recent examples from the North Carolina Senate.

Wednesday night was a busy night in Raleigh. First, House lawmakers voted 79-36 to override the governor’s veto of a bill that will allow employers to sue workers who secretly take pictures or record audio in their place of business. The Senate had already voted to override the veto, which means the bill will become law.