Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Ohio judge wants to know if he can refuse gay weddings

Published:Thursday | July 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP):

A judge who refused to marry a same-sex couple said yesterday that he wants to know if he can skip out of performing gay weddings altogether.

Toledo Municipal Court Judge C. Allen McConnell said he didn't marry the couple earlier this week because of his personal and religious beliefs. Another judge was brought in to perform the wedding the same day.

The court uses a weekly rotation of judges to perform marriages and handle other unscheduled matters. McConnell was on duty Monday when he refused to perform the wedding.

"I apologise to the couple for the delay they experienced and wish them the best," McConnell said in a statement.

He also said he'll continue to perform weddings between men and women while he waits to hear if he can opt out of same-sex marriages.

The judge said he would seek an opinion from the Ohio Supreme Court, but court spokesman Bret Crow said the request would need to go before a board appointed by the court that handles conduct and ethics matters involving judges.

Carolyn Wilson told The Blade the judge's decision put a damper on her special day. She said she never spoke to the judge and that his bailiff informed her that he "didn't do 'these types of marriages,'" she said.

"You wait so long for this opportunity," she told the newspaper. "Because we wanted to handle it civilly, we didn't think there would be any issue at all."

Same-sex marriages began across Ohio nearly two weeks ago after the US Supreme Court's ruling legalising gay marriage across the country.