Homophobic Wyoming judge censured but not sacked

Homophobic Wyoming judge censured but not sacked

In August last year Wyoming’s Judicial Ethics Commission recommended that Ruth Neely, above, be relieved of her position as a magistrate in the small northwestern town of Pinedale after she told the local newspaper that she would ‘not be able to do’ marriage ceremonies for gay couples.

It ruled that she violated ethics rules requiring judges to follow the law, avoid the appearance of impropriety, and perform duties fairly, without bias or prejudice.

“Judges do not enjoy the same freedom to proselytise their religious beliefs as ordinary citizens,” the Commission said, finding that her public statements suggested that:

Adherence to the law is optional.

However, according to this report, the Wyoming Supreme Court this week chose to censure rather than sack the Christian bigot.

In a letter to the state’s judicial ethics advisory committee, she wrote:

Homosexuality is a named sin in the Bible, as are drunkenness, thievery, lying, and the like. I can no more officiate at a same-sex wedding than I can buy beer for the alcoholic.

By a 3-2 vote, the court said Neely violated the state’s code of judicial conduct.

No judge can turn down a request to perform a marriage for reasons that undermine the integrity of the judiciary by demonstrating a lack of independence and impartiality.

The court said she must either “perform marriage ceremonies regardless of the couple’s sexual orientation,” or decline to perform any marriage ceremonies at all.

The state supreme court declined to remove her from her position, based on her long career as a municipal court judge:

For which she is widely respected.

Her misconduct was an isolated response, the court said:

To a quickly changing legal landscape, one in which many judges have experienced similar turmoil.

Firing her would:

Unnecessarily circumscribe protected expression.

Her lawyer, Jim Campbell of the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, said the court:

Recognised that her honorable beliefs about marriage do not disqualify her from serving her community as a judge, which she has done with distinction for more than two decades.

Earlier in the case, Campbell told the court that she was being unconstitutionally punished for her religious views.

8 responses to “Homophobic Wyoming judge censured but not sacked”

  1. Newspaniard says:

    The judge becomes a misunderstood victim. Ho Hum

  2. L.Long says:

    This is a perfect example of xtians saying….Muslins cannot be american because of their religion. Well guess what if they will admit it neither can xtians!!!! Most of the rules of their (no need to follow) 10 bad suggestions are in violation of the constitution!!!
    Or …If you can’t do the job because of your batshit crazy bigoted religion, then QUIT!!!!!

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    Numbers 12:1 suggests Jews should not marry Ethiopians. Perhaps judges should have the religious freedom to refuse those ceremonies as well?

    Or perhaps those in public office should carry out the duties of public office. Yes, I think the second option is best.

  4. Prior says:

    Hateful Bigotted Bitch

  5. StephenJP says:

    Well, she is now going to be shackled by her prejudices for as long as she stays in post. Every judgement she makes from now on will be in danger of appeal because of her publicly stated personal views. I wonder how long the state supreme court will be able to cope with all that. In the UK she would be out of a job by now. How long will it take in the US?

  6. Cali Ron says:

    She and the judges on the supreme Court should all be removed from the bench, then they won’t have to compromise their delusional believes.

  7. barriejohn says:

    I knew Christian magistrates and JPs in this country who thought that it was their job to promote the Christian faith (and there were MPs of the same ilk, like George Thomas and Sir Cyril Black, very popular with the Brethren). It was also an accepted fact that Christian teachers, doctors and nurses, etc, should be doing the same thing. They considered that their god had put them in such positions to “witness for him”, and I don’t believe for one moment that evangelicals today don’t think the same way.

  8. John the Drunkard says:

    Gee, buying beer is a judge’s duty in Wyoming?
    Who knew?
    Does she marry divorced people? The infertile? Non-virgins?