Rockingham County magistrate 102214

A rally in support of a Rockingham County magistrate who resigned because he felt same-sex marriage went against his religious beliefs.

Update: 2:54 p.m.

WENTWORTH — At a press conference Tuesday, Sen. Phil Berger and Rep. Bert Jones asked for the full support of former Rockingham County magistrate John Kallam.

Kallam resigned as magistrate late last week after he said he was told to marry same-sex couples or be fired.

This came a week after a federal judge legalized same-sex marriage in North Carolina.

Kallam said marrying a same-sex couple violated his religious beliefs.

"Here in Rockingham County, forcing Magistrate Kallam to give up his religious liberties to save his job is just wrong," Berger said.

More than 500 people came to the Rockingham County Courthouse and supported Berger, Jones and Kallam.

"I want my departure from the courthouse to be as honorable as possible," Kallam said. "I don't hold any animosity against anyone but I will stand by my religious principles."

WENTWORTH — People are gathering at the Rockingham County Courthouse for a rally in support of a magistrate who sent a letter to the chief district judge notifying him of his resignation.

Magistrate John Kallam Jr.'s resignation is effective Oct. 31. He said he is resigning because he felt same-sex marriage went against his religious beliefs.

State Senate Leader Phil Berger, who represents Rockingham County, is hosting a news conference at 1:30 p.m. today to discuss Kallam's resignation.

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Contact Danielle Battaglia at (336) 373-4476, and follow @dbattaglianr on Twitter.

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