A Toledo, Ohio judge has refused to marry a same-sex couple, citing his religious beliefs.
Toledo, Ohio Municipal Court Judge C. Allen McConnell on Monday refused to marry a same-sex couple. Carolyn Wilson, 51, and her partner came to the courthouse during the times posted on the court's website. When they arrived, they were told McConnell, the judge on duty, did not perform "these types of marriages."
Wilson says Judge McConnell never even bothered to speak with them, which made the situation even worse.
“If he would have taken the time to talk to us, it would have been a little more palatable,” she said, according to 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, another judge agreed to marry the couple, who have been together for seven years.
Judge William M. Connelly, Jr. says his reading of the Supreme Court's ruling "says we are to perform same-sex marriages."
Wilson called the event on her wedding day “embarrassing,” saying it “put a damper on the day.”
Judge McConnell issued a statement today explaining why he refused to marry the couple.
"On Monday, July 6, I declined to marry a non-traditional couple during my duties assignment," Judge McConnell's statement reads. "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."
Equality Toledo isn't satisfied.
“They didn't deserve to be humiliated; they didn't deserve to be inconvenienced,” Nick Komives, executive director for Equality Toledo says. “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.”
Image: Screenshot via Toledo Blade/ABC 13