Unsurprisingly, Ohio judges have been told they shouldn’t refuse to marry gays
Ohio’s judges have been told that they should not refuse to marry gay couples.
The Ohio Supreme Court’s ethics panel on Monday gave the opinion, saying judges who refuse to marry same-sex couples based on personal, moral or religious beliefs would be in violation of their oath of office and ethics codes.
The advisory, and non-binding opinion was given by the Board of Professional Conduct on Monday.
Stopping short of saying whether judges would violate state law by nor performing marriages, the panel said: “Public confidence in the independence of the judiciary is undermined when a judge allows his or her beliefs concerning the societal or religious acceptance or validity of same-sex marriage to affect the performance of a judicial function or duty.”
Although, as the opinion is non-binding, judges could choose to ignore it.
Despite this, the panel does review disciplinary cases, so the opinion does carry some weight.
The decision came after a Toledo judge asked the court to decide whether he should be allowed to refuse performing same-sex marriages.
The US Supreme Court last month ruled that all couples, same or opposite-sex, have a constitutional right to marriage. States have been rolling out same-sex marriage since.
Other judges have also refused to perform weddings.
It is so far unclear whether they will face disciplinary action.