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North Carolina judge resigns in protest after Supreme Court shoots down same-sex marriage ban

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A North Carolina magistrate judge resigned on Monday so that he would not be forced to officiate same-sex marriages, the Citizen-Times reports.

Swain County Magistrate Judge Gilbert Breedlove said that “we were directed we had to perform the marriages” after the Supreme Court struck down the state’s marriage ban on October 10, 2014. “That was just something I couldn’t do because of my religious beliefs,” he continued.

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“I was Christian when I started. Then, the law didn’t require me to perform something that was against my religious belief. Now that law has changed its requirements,” Breedlove said. “The whole Bible from front-to-end states that a marriage is between a man and a wife; any other type of sexual activity other than that is what is defined as fornication.”

Breedlove is also employed as a pastor at his church — which he refused to identify, for fear of backlash — but his main source of income was his position as a magistrate.

“That’s one of things about being a Christian,” he said. “You are able to serve the Lord, and the Lord will provide.”

Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina, said that “our hope is not that anybody feels like they need to resign from their position. Our hope is that people across North Carolina will support same-sex marriage, and do their jobs and conduct same-sex marriages the same as they would for opposite-sex couples.”

Sgro also noted that attempts publicize resignations like Breedlove’s are “part of an effort to hype up a few small cases” by groups like the North Carolina Values Coalition and the Alliance Defending Freedom. “If you hold a job or any position that serves the public or the state, then you have to carry out the duties of that job,” he said.

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“Hundreds and hundreds of people are being married by employees of the state across North Carolina with no problem.”


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Italy’s COVID-19 death toll tops 10,000 despite long coronavirus lockdown

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The coronavirus toll in Italy shot past 10,000 on Saturday and showed little sign of slowing despite a 16-day lockdown.

The 889 new fatalities reported in the world's worst-hit nation came a day after it registered 969 deaths on Friday -- the highest single toll since the COVID-19 virus emerged late last year.

Italy now looks certain to extend its economically debilitating -- and emotionally stressful -- business closures and the ban on public gatherings past their April 3 deadline.

"Is it time to reopen the country? I think we have to think about it really carefully," civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli told reporters.

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2020 Election

Joe Biden has one key coronavirus question he wants answered: ‘Where are the tests, Mr. President?’

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Despite the inability to hold campaign rallies, the 2020 presidential campaign is continuing in spite of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

With the response to coronavirus being the top public policy discussion in America, all eyes are focused on President Donald Trump's actions.

Trump had promised the nation that he would set up COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites in the parking lots of big-box retailers but has so far failed to deliver.

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Banks are causing a cash crisis by tightening lending standards during coronavirus crisis

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Major banks in America are tightening access to credit as coronavirus shutdowns put households across America in dire financial shape, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

"Banks and financial-technology firms are starting to toughen their approval standards for new loans to consumers and small businesses. That means many people could find it hard to get credit just when they most need it, as the novel coronavirus pandemic puts thousands out of work," the newspaper reported.

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