Ohio professional board: Judges can’t cite religious beliefs to avoid performing same-sex marriages

Ohio professional board: Judges can’t cite religious beliefs to avoid performing same-sex marriages
Source: Nathan Chute/Reuters

[Ed. – Hey, and dig that “interpretation as biased” clause.  Have you figured out yet that there is no refuge for conscience under a government of men and not of laws?]

The Ohio Supreme Court Board of Professional Conduct released a nonbinding, advisory ruling Monday that denies judges the right to cite their religious beliefs in refusing to marry same-sex couples.

Citing the judicial oath of office to “support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Ohio,” the opinion states, “A judge who is willing to perform marriages of only opposite-sex couples because of his or her personal, moral, or religious beliefs may be viewed as possessing a bias or prejudice against a specific class or group of people based on sexual orientation.”

Additionally, the board decided that judges who decide to deal with the restrictions on their religious freedom by refusing to perform all marriages would be interpreted as being biased. The board ruled that this practice could cause judges to be disqualified from any case in which sexual orientation is an issue.

“Even if a judge decides not to perform any marriages, but does so only after Obergefell, the judge may face the prospect of disqualification in matters where the sexual orientation of the parties is at issue,” the opinion said. “As such, a judge’s decision to decline to perform some or all marriage ceremonies, when grounded on the judge’s personal beliefs, may reflect adversely on perceptions regarding the judge’s performance of other judicial functions and duties.”

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