Judges May Not Refuse to Perform Same-Sex Marriages

same-sexThe Supreme Court of Ohio Board of Professional Conduct issued an opinion on August 7, 2015, advising that “a judge who exercises the authority to perform civil marriages may not refuse to perform same-sex marriages while continuing to perform opposite-sex marriages.” Further, “a judge may not decline to perform all marriages in order to avoid marrying same-sex couples based on his or her personal, moral, or religious beliefs.” See Oh. Sup. Ct. Bd. of Prof. Cond. Op. 2015-1 (Aug. 7, 2015). To do otherwise in the wake of  Obergefell v. Hodges, 35 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), opined the committee, would violate the judicial oath of office and standards of conduct that require a judge, among other things, to comply with the law, and to “apply the law without regard to whether the judge approves or disapproves of the law in question.” Id.

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