RALEIGH, N.C. — The State of North Carolina has agreed to pay over $200,000 to a former magistrate who resigned from the bench in 2014 as she felt forced out after a federal court struck down the state’s same-sex “marriage” ban and her superiors would not allow an accommodation for her religious beliefs.
As previously reported, in October 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Max Cogburn, Jr. ruled in the case of General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Cooper that “refusing to recognize same sex marriages originating elsewhere, and/or threatening to penalize those who would solemnize such marriages, are unconstitutional.”
The ruling resulted in the resignations of several Christian magistrates, who knew that they could not go against their convictions in officiating the unions of those of the same sex. Among those who stepped down from the bench were Judge John Kallam Jr. of Rockingham County, Bill Stevenson of Gaston County, Tommy Holland of Graham County, Jeff Powell of Jackson County, and Gayle Myrick of Union County.
Myrick’s supervisor sought to be accommodating to the magistrate, and offered to move her shift so that she wasn’t working during the hours when weddings are customarily officiated. Other magistrates also offered to cover for her. However, as her superiors said this was not acceptable, Myrick felt she had no other choice but to resign.
“Other magistrates routinely shifted their schedules for a variety of reasons—from simple things like fishing trips, to substantial issues like night classes or drug rehab. If
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