Ohio Judge Refuses To Marry Same-Sex Couple

An Ohio judge refused to conduct a same-sex marriage in his court this week, the latest instance of local officials refusing marriages on religious grounds in the weeks after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.

Toledo Municipal Judge Allen McConnell, who was in the midst of a three-week stint performing civil ceremonies, refused to marry Carolyn Wilson and her partner on Monday.

“I declined to marry a non-traditional couple during my duties assignment,” McConnell said in a statement. “The declination was based upon my personal and Christian beliefs established over many years. I apologize to the couple for the delay they experienced and wish them the best.”

The judge also said he’s asked the Ohio Supreme Court whether he can opt out of the rotation to avoid violating his religious beliefs.

A court administrator told Reuters that Wilson and her partner’s wedding was the first same-sex ceremony the court had been asked to perform. The couple was married by another judge after McConnell refused.

An Alabama judge had stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether after the Supreme Court ruling. A number of clerks in Kentucky have also refused to grant licenses to gay couples, citing religious belief in “traditional” marriages.

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