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