Right Hooks

Ohio Judges Must Perform Same-Sex Marriage

The conflict between marriage law and religious liberty continues.

Dan Gilmore · Aug. 11, 2015
The world's largest gavel on display at Ohio Judicial Center. Photo courtesy Sam Howzit, Flickr

Due to some questions on the interpretation of the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the Board of Professional Conduct for the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled Aug. 7 that judges in the state cannot refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies if they hold personal views contrary to that of the state. Doing so would be illegal and unethical, the board ruled. As Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw notes, the Board of Professional Conduct acknowledged that some Ohio judges don’t perform marriages because of their workload. But if a judge stops performing marriages based on their personal beliefs, then the board said that judge is in violation of ethics rules and the law. Say, what happened to the balance between public duty and the Ohio judges’ faith? The Bill of Rights is not a list of secondary perks that comes with being a citizen of the U.S. of A. The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution don’t list what citizens can do on their free time, like going to church is a fun activity to do on Sunday, that we can keep entertained with our little newspapers and we can occasionally go deer hunting with antiquated technology. No, the Bill of Rights represents some of the seminal values of our nation. The freedom of religion acknowledges that there is a higher authority than the state, and the state must step aside when people obey that authority as they see fit. But the Board of Professional Conduct is so shortsighted that it sees Obergefell v. Hodges as the highest law of the land.

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