NC Magistrate Refuses To Marry Same-Sex Couple Due To ‘Religious’ Beliefs
A North Carolina Magistrate refused to marry a same-sex couple on Monday based upon what Chief District Court Judge Christopher Bean determined to be Pasquotank County Magistrate Gary Littleton’a “religious or moral principles.”
On Friday, same-sex marriage became legal in North Carolina after a judge struck down the state’s ban.
[su_center_ad]“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,” 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. I think, though, you have to temper that a little bit with the confusion and the quickness of all of this.”
According to WAVY.com, Bean said the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts sent a preliminary memo to the magistrates late Monday saying, “magistrates should begin immediately conducting marriages of all couples presenting a marriage license.”
“I believe the final memo will say, without any question, that that is the duty of the magistrate,” Bean said.
When Bean was asked if the magistrate would know that he would not be able to deny a same-sex marriage based on personal beliefs, even without the memo, he replied, “You would think that.”
Bean said he will meet with all of the magistrates in Pasquotank County on Tuesday about the issue.
Bean went on to say that Littleton could possibly be removed from his position if someone files a formal complaint and a judge makes that decision.
Another magistrate, Leonardo Custis, said he later married the two men who were first turned away on Tuesday morning, according to WAVY.
“They cried, the couple and the witnesses, for the most part, so, I think they were happy that they were finally able to be married,” Custis said.
It sounds like Mr. Littleton is in the wrong business. As for the couple who was initially denied, Williams Locklear and his partner Randall Jackson, we wish them many happy years together.
Watch courtesy of WAVY:
H/T: The incomparable @CarlaAkins with thanks.[su_csky_ad]