CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BP) – When Gayle Myrick received a memo from the North Carolina state government threatening criminal prosecution unless she performed gay wedding ceremonies, she knew she had to resign her job as a magistrate – even though resignation left her unemployed and without retirement benefits at age 64.
"When you're grounded in your faith and you know – especially at my age – what you believe and whom you believe, decisions come rather quickly," Myrick, a former magistrate in Union County near Charlotte, told Baptist Press.
Myrick is one of at least six magistrates in North Carolina who have opted to resign rather than marry homosexual couples following a federal judge's ruling that the state's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. For at least two of the magistrates -- both of whom have ties to Southern Baptist churches -- the decision to resign has brought financial hardship. But they said obeying God required leaving their jobs.