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-Ohio: Judges Cannot Refuse to Perform Gay Weddings

by Dr. D ~ August 12th, 2015


The Ohio Supreme Court Board for Professional Conduct has ruled that state judges must perform same-sex weddings regardless of personal religious convictions. From Cleveland.com:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio judges who perform civil marriages may not 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.

But the professional conduct board, in an advisory opinion issued Friday and announced Monday, said refusing to perform the ceremony on that basis amounts to a violation of a judge’s oath of office.

<Read the whole article>

Response: Judges and clerks all around the country have refused to be involved with same-sex marriages citing their opposing religious convictions. Some judges have refused to perform marriages altogether in order to avoid a conflict.

This ruling takes same-sex marriage to another legal level above the First Amendment of the Constitution. Congress may not be allowed to craft laws that affect religious liberty but this judicial board ruling does that very thing. If one is going to be a judge in Ohio, then by this precedence, religious liberty and convictions must be left behind when one puts on the robe. In fact, the board plainly states that this is one of the qualifications for serving as a judge in Ohio.

Judges there will now have to either resign, go against their religious convictions, or as improbable as it might be for a judge, participate in civil disobedience and probably be dismissed with lawsuits following. 

Look for similar rulings all across the country and for the lawsuits that will follow. The Supreme Court has made same-sex marriage the law of the land and now the repercussions from that decision must be played out in every state. The question before us remains- does that ruling over-ride freedom of religion? The state of Ohio has ruled that it does for Judges.                *Top

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3 Responses to -Ohio: Judges Cannot Refuse to Perform Gay Weddings

  1. Brian

    Article 6, Clause 3 of the US Constitution states in part ” but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” While originally intended only to apply to federal office holders and federal employees, the 14th amendment had the impact of making rights that were protected by the constitution applicable to the individual states.

    Thus, it is unconstitutional in the US to have a religious test to hold public office. I would ask you to consider the public outcry if (for whatever reason) Muslim civil servants/office holders were required to agree to eat pork as a condition for holding a public office.

    The reason for the foregoing clause in the Constitution is that, during the colonial period, in all colonies (except, I think, Pennsylvania), office was restricted to members of the official religion of that colony (down south it was the Anglicans, in New England the congregationalists). The “dissenters” who were barred from public office by such laws were the ancestors of modern Evangelical protestants. The clause in question was drafted to protect “dissenters” from discrimination, but now the descendants of those very “dissenters” are being driven from office.

  2. Brian

    A second thought: Just across the river in Kentucky, the state has ordered that all ministers/religious organizations participating in prison chaplaincy must renounce any belief that homosexuality is a sin in order to continue the ministry.

  3. -Kentucky: ‘Christian Christians’ Need Not Apply? | ANSWERS For The Faith

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