ELIZABETH CITY — A magistrate in northeastern North Carolina apparently will not face disciplinary action after refusing to marry two men after the end of the state's gay marriage ban.
The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported that Pasquotank County Magistrate Gary Littleton refused Monday to marry Williams Locklear and Randall Jackson.
Littleton cited his religious views that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
Another magistrate, Lee Custis, married the men Tuesday.
Chief District Judge Christopher Bean met with all county magistrates Tuesday on the issue of gay marriage.
Bean said he would investigate the allegation that Littleton refused to wed the men only if a formal complaint was filed. So far, no complaint has been filed.
Jackson told the newspaper that he and Locklear do not plan to file one.
Jackson said he and Locklear are married and want to get on with their lives. But he also said, “I think Mr. Littleton has learned a valuable lesson,” and should not refuse to wed gay couples moving forward.
Bean said the court system has only one potential punishment for magistrates who violate the state's code of judicial conduct: removal from office.
Bean also said Littleton is not seeking reappointment to his magistrate's position when his term ends in December. Littleton made that decision before Monday, Bean said.
Littleton's position conflicts with orders issued by the state Administrative Office of the Courts that all judicial personnel accommodate same-sex couples just as they would heterosexual couples after last week's ruling by a federal judge striking down the prohibition.