To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE


SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

Landmark Decision for Religious Freedom: Judge Rules State Cannot Target Magistrates for Beliefs on Marriage

Kevin McVicker : Feb 7, 2018  Charisma News

"Faith and sexual orientation are deeply important to the identity of many people, and this case shows that these two things don't have to be at odds with each other," says Stephanie Barclay, counsel at Becket, the non-profit religious liberty law firm that represented Gayle. "Our civil rights laws help us create a diverse society where people can live, work, and break bread together despite our differences."

[CharismaNews.com] A landmark federal ruling, finalized recently, says that the State of North Carolina violated civil rights laws when it forced a magistrate to resign because of her beliefs about marriage. (Photo: Magistrate Gayle Myrick/YouTube/via Charisma News)

The ruling in Myrick v. EEOC shows that faith and LGBT rights don't have to be at odds with each other. Reasonable solutions can be found to protect the dignity of each person. This case also resulted in a significant settlement agreement, in which the State agreed to pay the magistrate her salary and retirements benefits that were unjustly taken away. You can watch her story here.

Gayle Myrick was a highly qualified and well-respected magistrate in North Carolina for many years who was forced to resign because of her religious beliefs. When same-sex marriage became legal, she didn't want to stop any couple from getting married, but she also knew that her religious beliefs prevented her from performing a same-sex wedding ceremony.

Since performing weddings was a small part of her work, Gayle's immediate supervisor proposed a solution: shift Gayle's schedule by a couple hours so she wasn't working when marriage ceremonies were performed. However, the state government rejected this reasonable solution and forced Gayle to resign.

"I have always wanted to find a way to protect everyone's dignity," says Myrick, the magistrate at the center of the case. "The solution in my case would allow any couple to get lawfully married without facing rejection or delay, and magistrates with religious beliefs like me could step aside and still keep our jobs."

Other magistrates routinely shifted their schedules for a variety of reasons-from simple things like fishing trips to substantial issues like night classes or drug rehab. If Myrick had asked to shift her schedule for any other reason, she would have been allowed to keep her job. But because her request was motivated by her religious beliefs, she was forced to resign just two months before her retirement benefits vested.

In a landmark ruling, a federal judge said this was discrimination under the civil rights laws. North Carolina was "obligated to provide an accommodation to Magistrate Myrick," the ruling said. The state later acknowledged it treated Gayle unfairly, and the settlement agreement makes Gayle whole by paying her the salary and retirement benefits that were taken away.

The state also passed a law making sure no magistrates would be targeted for their religious beliefs and no one would be denied a prompt marriage. The judge's ruling comes ahead of the Supreme Court decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. CCRC, a case that also addresses issues related to LGBT rights and religious liberty.

"Faith and sexual orientation are deeply important to the identity of many people, and this case shows that these two things don't have to be at odds with each other," says Stephanie Barclay, counsel at Becket, the non-profit religious liberty law firm that represented Gayle. "Our civil rights laws help us create a diverse society where people can live, work, and break bread together despite our differences."

Myrick filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under the Government Employee Rights Act-a federal civil rights law that protects the rights of government employees. Gayle was represented in this proceeding by Becket together with Ellis Boyle of Knott & Boyle, PLLC.







SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE

Other Recent Articles from Breaking Christian News

Dr. Alveda King on MLK Day: Let Freedom Ring for Life

Sen. Tim Scott Creates MLK Day Videos, Hopes to Rebut Biden Speech

Virginia's New Governor Youngkin Off to Quick Start with These Executive Orders, Including Ban on Critical Race Theory

Georgia Bill Would Ban Critical Race Theory, Promote Teaching of America's Founding Principles

GE Suspends Covid Vaccine and Testing Rules after Supreme Court Blocks Biden Mandate

DirecTV Cuts Conservative Network from Its Lineup

Rabbi's Brave Actions Helped TX Synagogue Hostages Escape Islamic Terrorist Captor; His British Sons Detained

Mike Rowe Reveals Why He's Reviving 'Dirty Jobs'—and the Problem He's Seeing Everywhere

'Biden Is Not a King': Pro-Freedom Groups React after Supreme Court Blocks Vaccine Mandate

Australia Cancels Visa of Unvaccinated Tennis Star Novak Djokovic for the Second Time

Judge Sentences Loudon County Sex Offender Teen in School Assaults Case that Enflamed Trans Bathroom Debate

Don't Be Fooled by the Language on Voters' Rights Legislation

Illinois Parents Furious About After School Satan Club in Elementary School

Pro-Life Warrior James Sedlak, Feared by Planned Parenthood, Passes Away at 78

Meet Actor Ray Romano's Brother: The Ex-NYPD Cop Who Embarked on an Investigation to Prove Jesus' Death and Resurrection

Less Than 10% of Evangelicals Want Shorter Sermons; 30% Want More In-Depth Teaching: Survey

'God Has Heard and Answered Our Prayers': Anne Graham Lotz Shares Update after Daughter Suffers Heart Attacks

Watchdog Warns That Biden Admin May Be Creating a Database of Americans Who Asked for Religious Exemption from Vax Mandate

Supreme Court Halts Biden COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Businesses

Sen. Sinema Doubles Down on Filibuster Support, Dealing Likely Fatal Blow to Dems' Election Bills



Search the Articles Archives

Keyword:  
Author:  
Words Posted On:  
Day Month Year



BCN Plus

An BCN Paid Advertisement
An BCN Paid Advertisement
An BCN Paid Advertisement
Follow BCN on Twitter
Are You Praying for Our Government Leaders?
BCN Staff

Steve Shultz
Steve Shultz, Managing Editor
Founder and Owner


Aimee Herd
Aimee Herd, Editor


BCN Plus
Are You Praying for President Trump?
 
 

All articles on this site and emails from BCN are copyrighted property of Breaking Christian News. Permission is given to link to, or share a BCN story if proper attribution is given to both the original writer and summarizer of the story. Breaking Christian News 2005-2019. All Rights Reserved.


Breaking Christian News is a division of Elijah List Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Disclaimer: Articles and links, as well as the source articles linked to; do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breaking Christian News.

editor@breakingchristiannews.com