Rockingham magistrate resigns over same-sex marriage

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WENTWORTH, N.C. — A Rockingham County magistrate submitted his resignation Thursday because he said he didn’t want to violate his oath of office; but marrying a same-sex couple violates his religious beliefs, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Magistrate John Kallam Jr. sent a letter to Rockingham County Chief District Court Judge Fred Wilkins and said he couldn’t fulfill his oath of office after same-sex marriages were legalized in North Carolina.

“When I took my oath of office, I understood I would be required to perform weddings and have done so throughout my tenure,” Kallam said in his resignation letter. “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.”

Kallam said he couldn’t fulfill his oath of office in good faith.

Wilkins confirmed his resignation and said, “He’s a good honorable man and a good man who stuck by his convictions.

Wilkins added had Kallam refused to marry a same-sex couple Wilkins would have fulfilled his oath of office and suspended Kallam.

Kallam’s resignation takes effect Oct. 31.

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