US: North Carolina magistrate resigns, blames same-sex marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A magistrate in North Carolina has blamed same-sex marriage for his decision to resign.

John Kallam Jr, who served as a magistrate in Rockingham County, wrote in his resignation letter that allowing gays to marry “would desecrate a holy Institution established by God Himself”.

He said: “When I took my oath of office, I understood I would be required to perform weddings and have done so throughout my tenure.

“I did not however take that oath with any understanding that I would be required to marry same sex couples.

“It is my personal belief and a position of my Christian faith that doing so would desecrate a holy Institution established by God Himself.

“Since performing marriages is an integral part of being a Magistrate and in light of recent changes in North Carolina law. I can no longer fulfil my oath of office in good faith.”

Same-sex marriage became law in North Carolina last week, after US District Court Judge Max Cogburn ruled that the state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman was unconstitutional.

Chief District Judge Fred Wilkins said: “He’s a good honourable man and a good man who stuck by his convictions.”

Chris Sgro of rights group Equality NC told the News Record: “This is not an issue of people’s rights to have religious beliefs, but people try to spin it that way.

“This is their job, and it’s a job requirement.”