ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina magistrate has resigned out of his refusal to perform same-sex “marriages” due to his religious beliefs, and a second is also refusing to conduct the ceremonies due to his faith.
Judge John Kallam Jr. of Rockingham County submitted his resignation on Thursday, stating that participating in the act was against his religion, and that he believed that voters had already spoken on the issue.
“It is my personal belief and a position of my Christian faith that doing so would desecrate a holy institution established by God himself,” he wrote.
Magistrate Judge Gary Littleton of Pasquotank County likewise refused to perform the ceremony for two Elizabeth City men on Monday.
“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,” Chief District Court Judge Christopher Bean told local television station WAVY.
The issue arises after U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr., nominated to the bench by Barack Obama, overturned the state’s ban on same-sex “marriage” last Friday, opining that a North Carolina constitutional amendment enshrining marriage as being solely between a man and a woman violated the U.S. Constitution.
“The issue before this court is neither a political issue nor a moral issue. It is a legal issue,” he claimed. “[I]t is clear as a matter of what is now settled law in the Fourth Circuit that North Carolina laws prohibiting same sex marriage, refusing to recognize same sex marriages originating elsewhere, and/or threating to penalize those who would solemnize such marriages, are unconstitutional.”
As previously reported, in April, the Cleveland, Ohio-based United Church of Christ (UCC), which is outside of biblical orthodoxy and was the first American religious group to ordain homosexuals and affirm abortion, filed a suit in federal court to challenge the marriage amendment. Several local clergy members from within the UCC and those from other sects also joined the litigation.
The plaintiffs asserted that North Carolina’s ban on same-sex “marriage” unlawfully bars them from serving a certain sector of the public, thus inhibiting their religious liberty to perform their clerical duties.
“By denying same-sex couples the right to marry and prohibiting religious denominations even from performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, the State of North Carolina stigmatizes same-sex couples, as well as the religious institutions and clergy that believe in equal rights,” the suit stated, as reported by the Charlotte Observer.
Others named in the suit included Joe Hoffman of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville Robin Tanner of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church; Jonathan Freirich of Temple Beth El; Nancy Kraft of Holy Trinity Lutheran, Nathan King of Trinity Reformed UCC in Concord; Mark Ward of Asheville Unitarian Universalist Congregation and Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist in Raleigh.
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, who supports homosexual unions, originally sought to put aside his personal beliefs and defend Amendment One, a ballot initiative that passed with 61 percent of the vote in 2012. However, as the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling striking down Virginia’s same-sex “marriage” ban in late July, Cooper concluded that it would be futile to defend North Carolina’s law as well. North Carolina is under the jurisdiction of the 4th Circuit Court.
Following Friday’s ruling by Judge Coburn, state court officials released a memo declaring that a refusal by county magistrates to perform same-sex “marriages” is a violation of their oath of office. Those who do not comply could face suspension, dismissal and misdemeanor criminal charges, reports state.
But some Christians are championing the magistrates to take a stand for God and refuse to participate in sin.
“Western civilization was built upon the family as designed by God. The homosexualization of marriage is an attack upon the core of our civilization. We have a federal government that has been imposing immoral policies upon our nation through raw judicial whim for years,” wrote Matt Trewhella, author of “The Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates” and “The Madgeburg Confession”, surrounding Littleton’s refusal to officiate the ceremonies. “All good people should rally to this magistrate and defend him with both public and private actions.”
“It is not up to us to question what God defined as marriage in Genesis Chapter 2,” James Lochridge Jr., the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Kings Mountain, told the Shelby Star in August. “If our elected officials will not stand up for the Christian principles on which this country was founded, then we, the voters, need to elect those who will. America has been a great nation in the past because we have stood on God’s word from the beginning.”
Photo: Jayron 32/ English Wikipedia