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Published On: Mon, Aug 10th, 2015

Ohio: Judges cannot refuse to perform gay marriages, John Kasich says time to move on

Ohio judges who perform civil marriages will not be allowed to refuse to conduct a ceremony for a gay couple, nor may they refuse to do all marriages based on personal beliefs opposing gay marriage, the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board for Professional Conduct said.

The ruling follows the refusal by a judge in Toledo to conduct a same-sex ceremony for a couple in July, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was a right in all states.

Toledo Municipal Judge C. Allen McConnell said in a written statement he was following his personal and Christian beliefs.

Archie Comics gay kissThis professional conduct board announced Monday that refusing to perform the ceremony on that basis amounts to a violation of a judge’s oath of office.

“The oath represents the judge’s solemn and personal vow that he or she will impartially perform all duties incumbent on the office and do so without regard to the status or class of persons or parties who come before the court,” the board opinion states. “The oath is a reflection of the self-evident principle that the personal, moral, and religious beliefs of a judicial officer should never factor into the performance of any judicial duty.”

“The right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his opinion, titled under the Ohio case Obergefell v. Hodges.

“It is demeaning to lock same-sex couples out of a central institution of the Nation’s society, for they too may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage,” Kennedy wrote.

After the case, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine, who both favor traditional marriage, said that the court’s ruling established same-sex marriage as the law of the land and that Ohio should move on.

 

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. jeffsfla says:

    I hope this ruling is simple enough for these bad state employees, clerks, and judges to finally understand. If they cannot perform their duties I am happy to send them a draft of a resignation letter.

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