Monday, August 10, 2015

Ohio judicial board: judges cannot refuse to marry same-sex couples on moral, religious, or personal grounds

Judge C. Allen McConnell
I  bet the anti-gay right will attempt to make this a new clarion call about gays persecuting Christians. However, I doubt they will get any new converts. In reading the comment section about cases such as these, I've noticed that the majority of those responding aren't exactly on the side of government officials who won't do their jobs:

From the Associated Press:

Judges who perform marriages in Ohio can't refuse to marry same-sex couples on personal or moral grounds or because of religious beliefs, according to a state judicial conduct board.

In addition, judges who stop performing all marriages to avoid marrying same-sex couples may be interpreted as biased and could be disqualified from any case where sexual orientation is an issue, according to an opinion by the Ohio Supreme Court's Board of Professional Conduct issued Friday and made public Monday.

The ruling followed a request for guidance from a Toledo judge who refused to perform a same-sex wedding last month.

Municipal Judge C. Allen McConnell said he didn't marry a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs after the U.S. Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in all 50 states in June.

McConnell said Monday he would abide by the board's opinion and would marry a same-sex couple if requested.

Judges' oaths to support the state and U.S. constitutions also require them to honor court interpretations of constitutional matters, the judicial board said in its opinion.

The article goes on to say that though the board's decision is nonbinding, it can be used by the Ohio Supreme Court for guidance should the question arise again.

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