Ohio judge takes over weddings after gay couple turned away

Bennet Stewart, left, and Jacob Tuma hold hands as Judge Bernie Bouchard officiates their marriage at Hamilton County Municipal Court, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Cincinnati, after the Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. Ohio was one of 14 states enforcing a ban on same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — After a municipal court judge in Toledo refused to perform a same-sex wedding this week, the presiding judge says she will now perform all marriages in her courtroom.

Toledo Municipal Judge Michelle Wagner says she doesn’t want to see a same-sex couple go before a judge who is not interested in conducting the ceremony. She said it is her privilege to perform those weddings.

Her decision came after her colleague, Municipal Judge C. Allen McConnell, said he didn’t marry a same-sex couple earlier this week because of his religious beliefs. Another judge was brought in to perform the wedding the same day.

The court typically uses a weekly rotation of judges to perform marriages and handle other unscheduled matters. McConnell was on duty Monday when he refused to perform the wedding.

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