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Oct 14, 2014

Equality NC Responds to Pasquotank Magistrate's Refusal to Marry Same-Sex Couple

RALEIGH, N.C. (October 14, 2014) -- A state magistrate in Pasquotank County could face disciplinary action after refusing to marry a same-sex couple. Magistrate Gary Littleton declined to perform the couple's civil ceremony, citing his "religious views."

Equality NC immediately responded to the news, assuring same-sex couples that state magistrates would be held accountable.

"Throughout this process, Equality NC has been in constant contact with state and Pasquotank County county officials," said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC. "Through these conversations, we have been assured that the magistrate in question, like all magistrates statewide, must adhere to the law invalidating Amendment One, and perform requested civil ceremonies of same-sex couples. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor this situation, as well as the experiences of all same-sex couples seeking the newfound freedom to marry in all 100 counties of our state. We will expect no less than full and equal access to marriage as afforded by North Carolina law."

As was reported by WRAL, Littleton's denial of the couple's marriage request conflicts with orders issued by the state Administrative Office of the Courts that all judicial personnel accommodate same-sex couples just as they would heterosexual couples following last week's ruling by a federal judge striking down the prohibition. "State courts spokeswoman Sharon Gladwell says she is not aware of any other magistrates who have refused to marry same-sex couples," reported WRAL.

ABOUT EQUALITY NC: Equality NC is the statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians.

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