LGBT Rights Press Release

07.08.15

Toledo Judge Should Comply With SCOTUS Decision on Marriage Equality

ACLU Calls for Ohio Supreme Court to Intercede
IssueLGBT

(COLUMBUS)— The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio believes that same-sex couples and their families have waited long enough for the opportunity to marry across the nation. Now with the U.S. Supreme Court decision on marriage equality settled in Obergefell v. Hodges, any barrier standing in the way of these families cementing their relationships by being legally married is standing on the wrong side of history.

“We urge the Ohio Supreme Court to agree to issue an advisory opinion stating that municipal court judges in all 88 of Ohio’s counties must comply with their constitutionally required responsibilities, including Toledo Municipal Court Judge C. Allen McConnell,” said Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio senior policy director. “Public servants like Judge McConnell have an obligation to families who wish to marry in their courtrooms, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The highest Court in the land decreed that people have a right to marry who they love, and judges have taken an oath to uphold those laws.”

Carolyn Wilson and her partner, who live in Toledo, should not have been held up any longer than it took to have an on-duty judge perform a mandated responsibility. The bailiff for the on-duty judge told the couple that Judge McConnell didn’t perform “these types of marriages,” according to an article today in The Toledo Blade. This is a direct affront to the families like this couple that have waited years for the simple right to be recognized equally under the law in marriage.

“It is our expectation that judges treat everyone fairly and uphold our laws,” Brickner said. “While we respect that judges have deeply held personal and religious beliefs, they should not interfere with the oath they took to uphold our Constitution. No judge has a right to deny a consenting adult couple the right to commit to their loving relationship through marriage.”

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