Judge McConnell said that as a Christian, he could not officiate at same-sex weddings. The Board of Professional Conduct of the Ohio Supreme Court said he must. In other words: Christians, check your faith at the bench or you may not serve as a judge in the state of Ohio.
It is helpful to go through the board’s opinion because it reveals how they will treat complaints filed against judges in the future. If a judge is the subject of a complaint filed by a lawyer, fellow judge or member of the public, the board reviews the complaint. They will apply the strained analysis of this opinion in determining whether to sanction, suspend or remove the judge from the bench.
In Ohio, judges are elected by the people, at every level, municipal, circuit court, appeals court or state Supreme Court. In many other states they are appointed. Where they are appointed there are growing efforts to weed out Christians. This advisory opinion presents a new way of removing Christians from the bench after the people have elected them to office.
In this seven-page opinion the Board claimed that there is a “self-evident principle that the personal, moral and religious beliefs of a judicial officer should never factor into the performance of any judicial duty.” In other words, Christians must check their faith at the bench if they serve as a judge in the state of Ohio.
The Christian faith is not like a hat which people can put on or take off upon entering or leaving a church building. It informs the entirety of one’s life. Christians do not believe what they believe about marriage solely because it is a “religious” position. They insist it is objectively true. There is a Natural Law which can be known by all men and women and is binding on all men and women. If civil law contradicts the natural law, it is not law at all. This includes the law concerning the nature of marriage.
Effectively, in this advisory opinion the Ohio Supreme Court has created a new form of “religious test” for judicial office. This is in direct violation of Article Six of the Constitution, which states that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
This advisory opinion is directed against classical Christians, whether from the Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant traditions. The idea is to claim not that judges’ religious beliefs are wrong but that they’re irrelevant to what they do — and then to rig the rules so that they cannot remove themselves from officiating at same-sex marriages without being accused of violating their judicial office.
Full article is here.