The state of North Carolina has agreed to pay a settlement of at least $325,000 to a magistrate who was forced to resign after she refused to perform same-sex marriages.
Gayle Myrick, the Kim Davis of the North Carolina court system, didn’t deny any specific couple their right to marry. But she did approach her supervisors and let them know that, because of her Christian faith, she wouldn’t be able to perform those ceremonies personally.
Myrick isn’t like a lot of the other “religious freedom” advocates in her position in that she doesn’t seem to hate gay people, and she says she doesn’t even want to deny them their right to marry. She says she just doesn’t want to be personally involved, and perhaps because of that, she has reached a compromise with the state.
The compromise, crazily enough, is that religious believers who work for the government and don’t want to perform same-sex ceremonies may be excused from them as long as it doesn’t delay or jeopardize the marriage.
“I didn’t want to stop anyone from getting married,” said Myrick, who is 68 and lives in Monroe, N.C. “I also knew my religious convictions would not allow me to perform those marriages personally.”
A judge recently ruled that the case needed to be examined further, while also stating that Myrick should have had the option to opt out of performing marriages that violated her religious doctrine. That ruling led to the settlement, which called for North Carolina to pay $210,000 in damages and $115,000 in attorneys’ fees.
Read the full story at the Friendly Atheist Blog