Ohio judges who perform weddings can't refuse same-sex couples, judicial board rules

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio judicial board has ruled that judges who perform weddings can’t refuse same-sex couples based on personal, moral or religious beliefs.

The board also says judges who stop performing all marriages to avoid marrying same-sex couples may be interpreted as biased and could be disqualified from any case where sexual orientation is an issue.

The Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct issued the ruling Friday after a Toledo judge who refused to perform a same-sex wedding asked the board to clarify his duties.

Municipal Judge C. Allen McConnell said he didn’t marry a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs after the U.S. Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in all 50 states in July.

McConnell said Monday he would abide by the board’s opinion.

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