Claiming that marrying gay couples “would desecrate a holy Institution established by God Himself,” a North Carolina magistrate has resigned his office, because marrying a same-sex couple would violate his religious beliefs.
John Kallam Jr., who served in Rockingham County, sent a letter of resignation addressed to Chief District Court Judge Fred Wilkins on Thursday.
In his letter of resignation, Kallam stated “I can no longer fulfill my oath of office in good faith.” Kallam wrote:
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.
Kallam should be at once be both commended for recognizing his limitations, and pitied for succumbing to religious bigotry and ignorance.
Kallam’s letter clearly indicates that he is not qualified to hold the office of magistrate, and is deeply confused as to his role as a government official performing a civil ceremony, a role that has absolutely nothing to do with his religious belief.
The following is the full text of Kallam’s letter of resignation:
It is with deep regret that I must inform you of my intent to resign from my current position as Magistrate effective 31 October 2014. It is my intent to use my remaining administrative days for the remainder of this month. 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 fulfill my oath of office in good faith.
I will contact Mr Pegram’s office to insure all necessary paper work is completed and all items belonging to the State and/or county are completed and/or returned. I have enjoyed working with all the fine people at the Rockingham County Courthouse. I wish you all the best as you continue in your quest to administer justice in a fair and impartial manner. I am reminded of the last words of David who said, “He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God”. Where there is no “fear of God” there can be no justice!
John G. Kallam, Jr.
Judge Wilkins confirmed Kallam’s resignation, noting:
“He’s a good honorable man and a good man who stuck by his convictions.”
However, Judge Wilkins also noted that had Kallam tried to keep his job and refuse to perform same-sex marriages, he would have followed protocol and suspended Kallam.
Kallam’s resignation is effective Oct. 31.