OLYMPIA – A Christian judge in Washington was recently reprimanded by the state Judicial Conduct Commission for refusing to officiate same-sex ‘weddings.’
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor had made met with court employees following last year’s election, which legalized the practice in Washington, and informed his colleagues that he did not feel comfortable with performing homosexual ceremonies. An attendee of the meeting leaked Tabor’s comments to reporters, who in turned contacted the judge for further explanation.
Tabor reiterated that he did not wish to participate due to “philosophical and religious reasons,” and advised that his decision was a personal conviction and not the official position of the court. He stated that he believed that as long as other judges were in place to officiate the ceremonies, that he could choose to decline. Judges are not required to perform weddings, but should they choose to avail their services to the public, Washington state bars justices from turning away homosexuals.
Due to continued scrutiny over the matter, Tabor soon decided to decline requests to officiate ceremonies of any kind and get out of the marriage business altogether.
However, in May of this year, the state Judicial Conduct Commission filed a Statement of Allegations against Tabor after receiving complaints that accused him of violating state anti-discrimination laws. Earlier this month, it released its official admonishment, which served as a warning to the judge that his refusal was illegal.