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Ohio judge refuses to marry same-sex couple due to ‘personal and Christian beliefs’

Carolyn Wilson, 51, and her partner came to the courthouse to recite their vows, but when they arrived, they were told by Judge C. Allen McConnell, the judge on duty, that he did not perform “these types of marriages.”

A Toledo, Ohio judge this Monday refused to marry a same-sex couple based on his “personal and Christian beliefs.”

Carolyn Wilson, 51, and her partner came to the courthouse to recite their vows, but when they arrived, they were told by Judge C. Allen McConnell, the judge on duty, that he did not perform “these types of marriages.”

According to Wilson, Judge McConnell’s refusal to speak to the couple made matters worse.

“If he would have taken the time to talk to us, it would have been a little more palatable,” she told the Toledo Blade. “You wait so long for this opportunity,” Wilson said of the right to marry. “Because we wanted to handle it civilly, we didn’t think there would be any issue at all.”

Fortunately, there was another judge who was willing to marry the couple, who have been together for seven years.

In a statement released today, Judge McConnell explained his actions.

On Monday, July 6, I declined to marry a non-traditional couple during my duties assignment. 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 court has implemented a process whereby same sex marriages will be accommodated. I will continue to perform traditional marriages during my duties assignment.

I am also seeking advisory opinion from the Supreme Court of Ohio at this time as to whether or not I can opt out of the rotation. Upon receipt of the advisory opinion from Supreme Court, I will abide by its decision.

But executive director of Equality Toledo Nick Komives isn’t satisfied with Judge McConnell’s explanation.

“They didn’t deserve to be humiliated; they didn’t deserve to be inconvenienced,” Komives said. “That’s just wrong, and we won’t tolerate it. It is his duty to perform this ceremony, and if he’s not willing to perform his duties, he needs to step down.”

Watch a report on the story from Toledo’s ABC-13 in the video below:

h/t: NCRM, featured image via screenshot

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Mike Davis

    July 8, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    This is NOT a religious belief, it is a personal belief. There is NO scriptural basis in the New Testament for defining marriage or denouncing same sex relationships.

  2. John Wallach

    July 8, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    I get the cherry-picked Christian beliefs part, but what have your personal beliefs to do with this or any other law?

  3. Zerozenones

    July 9, 2015 at 12:18 am

    No, it is very much a Christian belief. In some way I have more respect for Fred Phelps and his crew than for liberal christians who try to pussyfoot around the horrors of the bible. It’s either the word of god or it’s not, but you don’t get to use your own very human morals to cherry pick the few little good bits and say that your ethics are divinely dictated. The Bible doesn’t say that gays are not allowed to marry, that’s true. What it says very clearly is that they should be stoned to death.That IS the Christian position, deal with it.

  4. George Whitney

    July 9, 2015 at 12:52 am

    He above all should know the Constitution and he above all should be ridiculed out of that position! Useless and arrogant!

  5. James Kaywell

    July 9, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God with Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:24 states: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

    In Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus reaffirms this: “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’?”

  6. John Twomey

    July 9, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Religion is often, if not generally, simply a convenient vehicle for personal bias.

  7. Heat Raydancer

    July 9, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Your right. The bible doesn’t bother to ban gay marriage because it skips straight to the “murder gay people” part.

    Dude, it may not say anything about gay marriage, but that’s just because the bible is SO viciously anti-gay, that the idea of gay marriage wouldn’t have come within a 70 mile radius of the book.
    I mean check this crazy crap out…

    In Genesis 2:24 Bible-icon.png, “a man” “is united to his wife”

    In Genesis 19 Bible-icon.png, God destroys the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; some say that widespread practice of homosexuality was the main reason.

    Leviticus 18:22 Bible-icon.png: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

    Leviticus 20:13 Bible-icon.png: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”

    Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 23:17 Bible-icon.png) and 1 Kings (1 Kings 15:12 Bible-icon.png) state that there shall be no sodomites allowed in Israel.

    Romans 1:26-27 Bible-icon.png: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence [sic] of their error which was meet.”

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Bible-icon.png: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (emphasis added)

    1 Timothy 1:9-10 Bible-icon.png: “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.”

  8. Melissa Mccrea

    July 9, 2015 at 1:13 am

    It’s interesting that this ‘African-American’ judge will abide a state’s Supreme Court ruling and not the federal Supreme Court ruling it sits well with him but when it was the US Supreme Court that allowed his right to serve on the bench AND the religion he follows that somehow allows him to discriminate is the same one that condoned slavery and inter-racial marriage. Things that make you go Hmmmm?

  9. Roderick b

    July 9, 2015 at 1:39 am

    This judge looks like he may have been around before the start of the civil rights movement in the 60’s. Did he not learn anything about discrimination? Very sad indeed.

  10. Frank C

    July 9, 2015 at 2:44 am

    I thought the same thing as Melissa. As an African American, this judge should understand more than anyone of what it’s like to be treated inequitably! What a hypocrite!!!

  11. Karyn

    July 9, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Any judge who will defy the law should immediately have all his judgments called into question. He has shown that he will allow personal bias to affect his decision making, so how can he be trusted to be fair and impartial? He can’t. And the taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for a public servant who won’t do his job.

  12. PFL

    July 9, 2015 at 3:19 am

    he should be impeached.

  13. Michael Pergrem

    July 9, 2015 at 3:52 am

    Religious/personal belief is irrelevant. It’s the law and as judge he’s bound by oath to do his duties. If he cannot because of religious beliefs, then he cannot do his job. Can people opt out of working on the Sabbath if they work at a shop that runs 7 days a week? NO. They would be fired. This judge should be impeached AND sued in civil court.

  14. Normandywells

    July 9, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Nope. Most Christians are in favor of gay equality. YOURE A BIGOT. Own it-don’t blame God. God loves gays-that’s why he gave them equality in the fastest civil rights fight in human history. Now kindly die off-America don’t want you here!

  15. Normandywells

    July 9, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Adam and Eve is not literal-that’s ridiculous. A woman cant be made from a man-theres no X chromosome! Its a parable-made up so primitive people could understand it.

  16. Harry

    July 9, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Rather religious or not… this is not a church it is a court of law. It must abide by the law including the civil marriage of same sex couples. That is a part of the separation of church and state. If this was a church refusing to do the ceremony it would be understandable. In this case… I see it as a person in a professional capacity who failed to do their job.. I know when I fail to do my job there are repercussions… up to and including termination. It should be no different for this guy. Being a judge does NOT put you above the law.

  17. Harry

    July 9, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Keep reading that book. Try Matthew 19:11-12 out for size. Also make sure you get proper definitions as they were meant in the times of jesus. Jesus didnt reaffirm anything. He amended it.. that is if you believe in that book to begin with.

  18. d

    July 9, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Since there is no such thing as right or wrong then the gay couple are not wrong in wanting to get married and the judge is not wrong in not wanting to preside over the marriage the bible is not the standard, we are our own standard. Peace -imagine thseres no heaven y’all

  19. Peter

    July 9, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    The Bible punishes
    for everything with DEATH!!! All 10 commandments if broken-punished by death. Would you do it?
    Read “your good book” you ignorant!

  20. Terry Hatch (@thatch1)

    July 9, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    “It’s either the word of god or it’s not.” It’s not.

  21. Mike Davis

    July 9, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    God wrote nothing. Everything in the Old Testament is written by Jewish rabbis. Jesus wrote nothing. Everything written in the New Testament is written by unknown authors, including half of Paul’s letters. In addition, of all the scripture in existence, NOTHING is an original. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy…. ad infinitum. The early church has had centuries to edit, excise and create “scripture” that it uses to control opinion, morals, ethics and religious beliefs and dogma.

    It is, then, absurd to claim anything to the the mind of God because everything is created and written by unknown human authors writing what they believed, or what needed to be written for control. Those claiming that the Bible (or any other religious reference) is someway superior to human common sense is simply substituting their own common sense for the mind of previous human authorship.

    The current so-called Christian belief regarding same-sex relations is a continuation of Old Testament tradition combined with new age Christian control from the pulpit. We would do well to rely on our own common sense and not on the rants of Bible-thumping preachers who fail to read and heed their own scriptures.

  22. Mike Davis

    July 10, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Please see my post at the bottom. Only those choosing to accept “scripture” as anything other than humanly created opinion are painfully unaware of the shifting sand upon which their beliefs rest and the enormous influence of the early church in its efforts to control believers.

    The morals of the Bible, the Quran and other “scriptures” are all written by unknown authors who are themselves writing what they think God thinks.

    Much of Christian fundamentalist belief rests on the alleged letters of Paul, a self-proclaimed itinerant preacher who never knew Jesus, never talked to Jesus, never heard Jesus speak or teach. All of Paul’s theology is based on hearsay and personal interpretation thereof. Everything written in the Old Testament upon which Paul and others base their beliefs was written by unknown Jewish rabbis.

  23. Jeff

    July 10, 2015 at 4:10 am

    I think the judge has a right to choose to ask out of the rotation…If he disagrees in same sex marriage that is his civil right to do so. It is the first amendment…He did not harm or slander the reputation of this couple so where is the harm? Asking for him to relieved of his duties is ridiculous…

  24. Rael

    July 10, 2015 at 5:04 am

    One here – Normandywells said “YOURE A BIGOT” to someone who doesn’t agree with him/her.
    “God loves gays” – he continues. But I don’t see much love in these words.
    God made the mammals to be males and females. Any exception is that: exception, and perversion. Now pedophiles and polygamy followers are the next on the line for love.
    Your words show gays become aggressive and intolerant.

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