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Supreme Court of Ohio, Advisory Opinion re: Judicial Performance of Civil Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

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Ohio Supreme Court:

OPINION 2015-1
Issued August 7, 2015
Judicial Performance of Civil Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

SYLLABUS: 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.

QUESTIONS PRESENTED: The Board of Professional Conduct received inquiries from judges and a judicial association on behalf of its members seeking guidance concerning the obligation of a judge to perform same-sex civil marriages: 1) whether a judge who is authorized to perform marriages may refuse to marry same-sex couples based on personal, moral, or religious beliefs, but continue to marry opposite-sex couples; 2) whether a judge may decline to perform all marriages to avoid marrying same-sex couples….” [Link to full opinion.]