July 8, 2015
A Toledo Municipal Court judge who declined to marry a same-sex couple said today his decision was based upon his “personal and Christian beliefs.”
“I apologize to the couple for the delay they experienced and wish them the best,” Judge McConnell said. “The court has implemented a process whereby same sex marriages will be accommodated.”
The judge said he will continue to perform “traditional marriages” during his assignment and is seeking an opinion from the Ohio Supreme Court as to whether he can leave the judicial rotation for marriages. He said he will follow the court's decision.
An Ohio Supreme Court spokesman said the court does not issue advisory opinions such as the one he requested. The Board of Professional Conduct, a group of lawyers, judges and citizens appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court, would review Judge McConnell’s question.
Carolyn Wilson, 51, and her partner, both of Toledo, applied for a marriage license and were directed to Judge McConnell. His bailiff told them he would not perform this type of marriage.
The couple expressed outrage at Judge McConnell decision following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage nationwide. They were married by Judge William M. Connelly, Jr. about 45 minutes later.