In Ohio, the State Judicial Conduct Board has ruled that judges can't decline to marry only same-sex couples because of their personal religious beliefs. But the Judicial Conduct Board's ruling went much further than that:
In addition, 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, according to an opinion by the Ohio Supreme Court's Board of Professional Conduct issued Friday and made public Monday. ...
"For example, if a judge who has declined to perform same-sex marriages is later assigned to hear a misdemeanor domestic violence charge involving a same-sex couple, the judge's ability to follow the law and impartially apply the domestic violence laws could reasonably be questioned," the board said.
This is the ruling of an advisory board, and so it's still unclear to what extent it will be enforced. In 2012, an appeals court rejected a claim that federal judge Vaughn Walker was biased even though he refused to disclose he was gay and in a long-term relationship with a man before overturning California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage.
The 9th Circuit Court of appeals held that just because he potentially had a personal stake in the outcome of the law, it was absurd to think he couldn't independently and fairly perform his judicial functions, and "to hold otherwise would demonstrate a lack of respect for the integrity of our federal courts."
The notion that just because a judge doesn't personally believe in gay marriage they are incapable of following the law and ruling on any case "where sexual orientation is an issue," let alone being sympathetic and compassionate toward the plight of the someone who is gay and being physically beaten by their partner is absurd. According to the ruling, "public confidence in the independence of the judiciary is undermined when a judge allows his or her beliefs concerning the societal or religious acceptance or validity of same-sex marriage to affect the performance of a judicial function or duty," the board said. But judges articulating their personal concern regarding the "the societal or religious acceptance or validity of same-sex marriage" is very nearly the entire basis of gay marriage jurisrudence -- not even liberals have rushed to hold up Justice Kennedy's Obergefell ruling as fine example of legal reasoning. To the extent that courts created gay marriage to prevent discrimination, it seems that in Ohio, they want to enforce that right by enshrining discrimination against religious justices in the legal system.
We turn now to the suburbs of Philadelphia. Waldron Mercy Academy is a private school in Merion Station which takes children all the way from daycare at three months through eighth grade. It is not cheap—tuition for grades one through eight is $13,250 per year. Its campus sits nestled around an old convent in an upscale suburb and boasts all the bells and whistles. It has a long, low stone wall surrounding green lawns and athletic fields. In 2009 it was designated a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.
You may recall Brendan Eich. The cofounder and CEO of Mozilla was dismissed from his company in 2014 when it was discovered that, six years earlier, he had donated $1,000 to California’s Proposition 8 campaign. That ballot initiative, limiting marriage to one man and one woman, passed with a larger percentage of the vote in California than Barack Obama received nationally in 2012. No one who knew Eich accused him of treating his gay coworkers badly—by all accounts he was kind and generous to his colleagues.
June, for conservatives, has been of late the “cruelest month” at the Supreme Court, as the decisions finally roll forth. Many expect—with a combination of apprehension and resignation—that in the critical case of Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Anthony Kennedy will furnish the fifth vote for installing same-sex marriage as a constitutional right.
On May 22, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through popular referendum, with 62 percent of the electorate supporting the constitutional change. The reported reactions, as you might expect, were overwhelmingly positive.
Had Jeremiah Wright’s antics not forced Barack Obama to expound famously on race in 2008, the most significant speech of his short Senate tenure would have been his 2006 remarks on religion and democracy. Appearing before Call to Renewal’s conference on “Building a Covenant for a New America,” Obama urged Christian activists and Democratic voters to reconsider the relationship between church and state. Mankind may have grappled with our dueling obligations to Caesar and
Over the last few years, the gay marriage movement has transformed from "equality for all" to "bake me a cake." As it picks up steam, the movement looks more and more totalitarian, both at home and abroad.
The most notable exchange during the argument last month in the same-sex marriage case before the Supreme Court, Obergefell v. Hodges, likely occurred between Justice Samuel Alito and Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
As federal, state, and local governments continue to expand their laws and regulations regarding gender identity, conflicts over religious objections are sure to grow. Judging by an item on the website of the Department of Health and Human Services, one flash point could well be foster parenting.
When arguing before the Supreme Court, a lawyer normally takes pains to convince the Justices that ruling in his or her favor in that particular case would not have dramatic consequences elsewhere. In Hobby Lobby, for example, Paul Clement urged that exempting his clients from part of HHS's contraceptive mandate would not open the doors to a flood of other exemptions. Or in DC v.