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N.C. Judges Continue Resigning to Avoid Officiating Same-Sex Marriages

N.C. Judges Continue Resigning to Avoid Officiating Same-Sex Marriages

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Due to religious beliefs, magistrates in North Carolina continue resigning from their offices.

More magistrate judges in North Carolina have left their posts in protest to the recent court decision striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban.

Six magistrates have left their posts since two judges ruled that the voter-passed Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Rather than upholding the law and performing marriages, the magistrates have left their posts.

"It was my only option," Swain County Magistrate Judge Gilbert Breedlove told Citizen-Times. "We were directed we had to perform the marriages, and that was just something I couldn't do because of my religious beliefs."

Breedlove became a magistrate in 1990 and became an ordained minister in 1997, according to Citizen-Times.

Magistrates from Rockingham, Gaston, Graham, Union, and Jackson counties have also stepped down, all citing that presiding over same-sex weddings would violate their religious principles.

"It was something I had to do out of conscience. I felt like to perform same-sex unions would be in violation of the Lord's commands so I couldn't do that," Judge Bill Stevenson of Gaston County told WCNC-TV. "I hate to wax so biblical, but it says, 'What good is it for man to gain the whole world but lost his soul', so that's the stakes I put on this."

Equality N.C. board member Rick McDermott said he questioned the motivations behind the moves.

"While we understand people have their own religious beliefs we don't think this is about religious discrimination," told WCNC-TV. "It's really more so about magistrates doing their job and following the law."

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