A state judge in Washington was admonished for refusing to perform same-sex weddings in his judicial capacity but still performing opposite-sex marriage. He has apparently now stopped performing weddings completely so he doesn’t have to perform the ones he disagrees with.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor was admonished by state judicial authorities Friday for saying last year he would not perform weddings for same-sex couples — even though he was doing them for opposite-sex couples.
The Washington Judicial Conduct Commission announced the sanction Friday, saying that state law does not allow discrimination based on sexual orientation. The admonishment amounts to a warning and was the least-severe punishment available.
It came about as part of a stipulated agreement with the socially conservative judge.Tabor did not return a telephone message left at the Superior Court, but the commission said Tabor has since stopped performing weddings as a judge.
This is the correct result. Same-sex marriages are legal in Washington and state law explicitly forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. A minister has the legal right to refuse to perform any marriage, but a judge is an official of the state and cannot refuse to perform a same-sex wedding any more than they could refuse to perform an interracial or interreligious one.