US judges stop all weddings to avoid marrying gays

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At least two judges in the US state of Missouri have stopped performing weddings at all, rather than begin marrying gay couples.

The decision by the judges comes after the US Supreme Court ruled that all couples, straight or gay, have a constitutional right to marriage.

A statement came from Laclede County Associate Circuit judges Larry Winfrey and Steve Jackson said they would choose not to marry any couples.

“In light of the divisive impact of the recent United States Supreme Court decision on our society relative to the issue of marriage, we elect to not allow the integrity and respect of your local court to be tarnished by being caught up in the dissention created,” the statement said.

The judges refused to say more.

It is unclear how many other judges across the US have also declined to perform any weddings to avoid the ruling.

A judge in Ohio yesterday requested that the state’s Supreme Court decide whether he should be allowed to refuse performing same-sex marriages.

Municipal Court Judge C Allen McConnell, of Toledo, refused to perform the wedding of a gay couple on Monday, but is likely to go before a disciplinary committee.