ICC Note: A North Carolina county magistrate may lose his job after refusing to perform a ceremony for a gay wedding this week. North Carolina’s ban on gay marriage was recently struck down and a Chief District Court judge in North Carolina sent a memo instructing magistrates to begin conducting ceremonies for gay couples. The magistrate, Gary Littleton, refused on the basis of his religious convictions.
10/17/2014 United States (CBN) – A magistrate in North Carolina could lose his job after he refused to marry a gay couple in Elizabeth City earlier this week.
Pasquotank County Magistrate Gary Littleton told the couple he wouldn’t perform the marriage because of his religious beliefs, according to Christian Science Monitor.
Chief District Court Judge Christopher Bean said he sent a preliminary memo out to the magistrates late Monday that “magistrates should begin immediately conducting marriages of all couples presenting a marriage license.”
Littleton reportedly refused to marry William Locklear and Randall Jackson on Tuesday.
“My understanding is that a couple came and asked to be married and he refused to marry them based upon his, I guess, religious or moral principles,” Judge Bean said. “I suppose that it can be construed that he broke the law because that is a duty that the magistrate has to perform marriages.”
Judge Bean says if Littleton keeps refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, he must resign or face removal.