As previously reported, Toledo Municipal Court Judge C. Allen McConnell refused to marry a same-sex couple at the municipal court because of his “personal and Christian beliefs.” Amid public criticism, Judge McConnell sought clarification of his duties from the Ohio Supreme Court. On August 11, 2015 the Supreme Court of Ohio Board of Professional Conduct issued its Opinion 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. 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.” The decision further stated that when a judge takes the judicial oath of office “he or she yields the prerogative of executing the responsibilities of the office on any basis other than the fair and impartial and competent application of the law…”
Bugbee & Conkle’s Annual Labor & Employment Law seminar, scheduled for October 1, 2015, will address the impact of the legalization of same sex marriage in the employment law context. You can register for the seminar here.