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Forced To Resign For Her Faith, This Magistrate Sued The State And Won
The Federalist ^ | 02/22/2018 | Bre Payton

Posted on 02/22/2018 1:23:28 PM PST by SeekAndFind

Gayle Myrick, a 68-year-old grandmother of three, loved her job as a magistrate in North Carolina. For almost five years, she set bonds, issued warrants, and granted protective orders to domestic violence victims, all while offering a message of hope to individuals in a tough spot.

“You can start over every day,” Gayle would tell the Americans who came before her. “You don’t have to be in this situation forever. There’s plenty of people that want to help you.”

She especially loved presiding over marriage ceremonies.

“Presiding over two people committing their lives to each other filled me with so much joy that I routinely stepped in for other magistrates who didn’t like performing that task,” she wrote in a column published in The Washington Post.

But all of that changed in October, 2014, when same-sex marriage was made legal in North Carolina. As a Christian, Gayle could not in good conscience perform same-sex marriages, since Christianity reserves sex exclusively to a married man and woman. Yet she also didn’t want to prevent anyone from getting married, nor to feel he or she was treated differently.

After praying and thinking, she and her supervisor came up with a solution: they would alter Gayle’s schedule so she wouldn’t perform any marriages. The judge that supervises her office rejected this plan, and Gayle was forced to resign — just two months shy of being eligible for retirement.

“I lost it all,” she said.

‘You Stand Up For Your Convictions At Any Cost’

Throughout our phone conversations totaling 90 minutes, it’s clear Gayle’s identity is deeply rooted in her family and faith. She says she inherited her strong convictions and a willingness to stand up for her beliefs from her father, an extremely hard worker and honest man. He worked as a welder and farmed on the side, working from three o’clock in the morning until six or seven o’clock at night each day.

“He was going to do what was right and the consequences did not matter to him,” she said of her father, who passed away 2005. “He showed them we can agree to disagree . . . without back-biting. . . That’s the way he is remembered to this day. He is just a person who stood for what he believed.”

Her mother was a stay-at-home mom, which entailed a lot more back then than it does now, Gayle tells me. She cooked, cleaned, sewed her family’s clothes, gardened, and taught Gayle about her faith.

“You stand up for your convictions at any cost, ” she said. “And you’re kind to everyone. . . We are all made in God’s eyes. He loves us all, he knows we have different views and opinions. We need to offer that same grace to others.”

While we’re on the phone, she asks me to hang on a second while she coordinates travel plans with her granddaughter. They are about to depart on a trip to New York her daughter’s 35th birthday. It’s become a family tradition to celebrate one’s 35th birthday in New York, after she did that with her other daughter a few years back, she explains.

When Gayle was 10 years old, she became a Christian and has kept that faith ever since. Growing up, she was active in her church’s youth group and choir. Today, she attends a Baptist church, where she has attended since 2011, but she doesn’t want everyone to think she has a perfect church attendance record. She tells me when she was working, she would sometimes skip church if she worked a late shift the night before. If she got off from work at 7 a.m. on a Sunday, she would go home to catch some sleep.

“I’ve always relied on my faith to get me through any situation,” she said. “I’m a born-again Christian, and my beliefs are based on the scriptures. And the Bible teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

When same-sex marriage became legal, magistrates throughout the state received a memo from the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, instructing them to perform same-sex ceremonies or face “potential criminal charges.” The memo was disseminated when Gayle was off from work for a few days, which bought her some time to think and pray. When she returned to work, she did not want to offend anyone or cause a commotion, she said. Above all, Gayle said she was intent on treating everyone like God wanted her to.

“I had no animosity in my heart,” she said. “I had no opinion on how they want to live their lifestyle. That’s their right to do so. I wanted to make sure my attitude and my countenance was one of love and respect.”

So her immediate supervisor suggested they shift Gayle’s schedule around for a few hours so she would not be on duty while a marriage ceremony was to be performed. Because marriages were by appointment only, it would have been easy to create a work schedule so no one would be prevented from a marriage ceremony while accommodating for Gayle’s religious convictions.

“No rejection, no embarrassing situations,” she said.

When she pitched the idea to her coworkers, they were happy to help.

“We all did work really well together, [since] we all had different schedules in our daily lives,” Gayle Smith, a fellow magistrate, said in a video produced by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “But when it came to our work schedules, we all helped each other. Looked out for one another for family emergencies, vacations, that type of thing. ”

Gayle Was Told to Perform Same-Sex Weddings, Or Else

When she presented the idea several days later to the judge overseeing her office, Gayle was armed with her pre-written resignation letter, just in case.

“I’ve never been fired from a job, and I certainly didn’t want to be criminally prosecuted,” she said in reference to the threatening memo. “My daddy wouldn’t like that a bit.”

She was told no accommodations for religious beliefs would be accepted. Fearing the worst, Gayle offered her resignation letter, which was accepted after the compromise was rejected. A friend suggested that she file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that she had involuntarily resigned from her job after being discriminated against due to her religious beliefs. She followed this advice, not expecting to hear anything back.

“But I trusted God,” she said. “I just trusted him everyday. Whatever happens, it’s just meant to be.”

Nearly a year later, Gayle received a letter in the mail from the federal agency, stating that they were pursuing the case on her behalf. She was shocked.

“This is over my pay scale,” she says she thought at the time.

On the advice of a friend, Gayle contacted an attorney, Ellis Boyle, who, in partnership with the public interest law firm Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, pursued the case. The staff at The Becket Fund had the same mindset about religious liberty and fairness Gayle did. They support ensuring that civil rights equally protect all people of all views.

Her Case Sends A Message to Employers Everywhere

A federal judge, Michael Devine, ruled in Gayle’s favor. He found that the state of North Carolina broke the law when it rejected reasonable solutions to accommodate Gayle’s religious beliefs. He also found that Gayle’s subsequent resignation was not voluntary, as she was told she would face disciplinary action, civil penalties, or even criminal prosecution unless she agreed too perform same-sex marriages. She was awarded more than $300,000 from the state in lost pay, attorney’s fees, and her retirement benefits in an agreement finalized late last month.

Gayle sees her court victory as a “win-win situation” for religious liberty and for gay couples. She hopes her case will send a message to employers that they must make reasonable accommodations for their employees’ religious beliefs, and that it encourages others to stand up for their civil rights in a way that honors God.

“Deeply held faith and deeply held sexual orientation are important to each of us,” she said. “We do not have to be at odds with each other.”

Gayle’s story sends a message to employers across the country, Becket attorney Stephanie Barclay said. They must reasonably accommodate their employees’ religious beliefs. If they don’t, that violates the law.

“Regardless of whether we agree with Gayle’s beliefs, we should all be glad that the laws of our country require employers to create an accommodating workplace, and to do so in an evenhanded way that doesn’t allow targeting of some disfavored groups,” wrote Barclay. “Such laws protect the diversity and dignity of everyone.”

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: faith; gaylemyrick; gaymarriage; homosexualagenda; magistrate; northcarolina; religion

1 posted on 02/22/2018 1:23:28 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Wow! A Happy Ending - especially where it involves the Gay Mafia!

Unheard of! Good for her.

2 posted on 02/22/2018 1:27:36 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Christians 1, Gay Agenda 0


3 posted on 02/22/2018 1:28:51 PM PST by MeganC (There is nothing feminine about feminism.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Notice how though, that the people behind forcing her departure are not named, nor is there any indication of any sanctions imposed on them. So the taxpayers have to pay of a large sum of money for the illegal actions of these people, and yet, for all appearances, no one was penalized or dismissed.
This is my bioggest fear with Russiagate and Hillary/DNC/ Obola. That the forces who are able to prosecute these people for what they have done will fold their tent with a comment about “moving forward,”and that will be the end of it, until the next RAT Pack tries it again knowing that their failure will not cause them any prosecutorial pain or time behind bars.

4 posted on 02/22/2018 1:31:38 PM PST by vette6387
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To: MeganC

RE: Christians 1, Gay Agenda 0



This battle has been won. But will the war be won? This remains to be seen.

5 posted on 02/22/2018 1:32:37 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
"But all of that changed in October, 2014, when same-sex marriage was made legal in forced upon North Carolina."
6 posted on 02/22/2018 1:40:27 PM PST by fwdude (History has no 'sides;' you're thinking of geometry.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Good for her!

You will note, however, that the poor suffering taxpayers in NC are paying. The person that, in effect, fired her, has not had to suffer the consequences of his/her action.

Somehow, someway, We the People need to be able to force the poobahs that make these kinds of decisions accountable for their actions!

7 posted on 02/22/2018 1:42:01 PM PST by Taxman (Replace the income tax with the FAIRtax and abolish the IRS!)
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To: vette6387

See my post #7. We are on the same wavelength, but you are more articulate than I!

I, too, am VERY concerned that the lawbreakers in the multiple Ophonybama scandals/lawless/unconstitutional activities will find a way to avoid having to personally pay for their sins and transgressions.

Those slick folks will somehow figure out a way to stick us poor suffering taxpayers with the bill!

8 posted on 02/22/2018 1:46:23 PM PST by Taxman (Replace the income tax with the FAIRtax and abolish the IRS!)
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To: vette6387
the taxpayers have to pay of a large sum of money for the illegal actions of these people, and yet, for all appearances, no one was penalized or dismissed.

I doubt it does someone's reputation good in any organization, public or private, to be responsible for a policy that causes a $300,000 whack to the budget. That's a catastrophe that has to be made up somewhere else, ticking off the administrators of "somewhere else." Even in government entities, day in and day out, it's generally rain-makers who make the brownie points.

9 posted on 02/22/2018 1:46:47 PM PST by SamuraiScot
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To: fwdude

Absolutely correct. It was legalized in a handful of states by legislative action. It was forced on the rest by jack-booted judicial fiat, including North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

10 posted on 02/22/2018 1:50:42 PM PST by Vigilanteman (ObaMao: Fake America, Fake Messiah, Fake Black man. How many fakes can you fit into one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman
Every relevant component of the state had said NO to marriage redefinition (let's just call it what it is.)

- The duly elected state legislature added the definition of marriage to state law, signed by the Governor.
- The people were allowed to weigh in on a constitutional amendment referendum, which was approved by over 61% of the voters as between one man and one woman.
- It was bolstered by strong bi-partisan majorities of both houses of the U.S. Congress in passage of the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by a Democratic president.

And they have the gall to say that it was "legalized." What a load.

11 posted on 02/22/2018 2:03:06 PM PST by fwdude (History has no 'sides;' you're thinking of geometry.)
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To: vette6387

Government entities carry insurance for adverse lawsuit results. Of course, the money for the insurance policies come from the taxpayer but it does provide some isolation from being a direct taxpayer hit.

12 posted on 02/22/2018 2:07:23 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: Taxman; ExTexasRedhead

“Those slick folks will somehow figure out a way to stick us poor suffering taxpayers with the bill!”

It’s long past time for there to be legislation that specifically precludes taxpayer compensation (or insurance) for anything related to the officeholder’s personal life. No legal representation, no taxpayer-paid reparations in connection with boinking anyone, including the help. I’m really tired of this “I had no choice but to screw him, because he’s my boss/supervisor/etc..” When you drop your drawers or unzip your fly, you should be on your own with whatever happens. As Confucius say: “Girl with pants up, run much faster than boy with pants down!”

13 posted on 02/22/2018 3:01:10 PM PST by vette6387
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To: SeekAndFind

This is so encouraging. It just kills me to read of the bakers potentially losing ever they have, or a farm owner losing his place that is used as a wedding venue but won’t rent it to use for same-sex ceremonies, etc., etc., etc. IF the law insists that same-sex “marriages” are to be performed, they can be performed by those who have no religious objection. Plenty of them around.

14 posted on 02/22/2018 3:07:04 PM PST by EDINVA
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To: SeekAndFind

What city, town in NC?

15 posted on 02/22/2018 3:24:50 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle

She is a magistrate of Union County, NC

16 posted on 02/22/2018 5:05:54 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
But will the war be won?

The 'war' has already been won.

17 posted on 02/24/2018 12:54:05 PM PST by xone
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