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.