- Associated Press - Monday, June 20, 2016

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A Wyoming judicial ethics group says a local magistrate does not have the right to refuse to marry gay couples.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/28K1bxG ) that the judicial ethics commission argued before the Wyoming Supreme Court in favor of Pinedale municipal judge and circuit court magistrate Ruth Neely’s dismissal.

The commission says her constitutional rights to free speech and religious freedom do not exempt her from marrying same-sex couples. They say she is bound to follow the law.

Neely is represented by attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group. Her lawyers have argued that the ethics commission is violating Neely’s constitutional rights. They say she has discretion when exercising her authority to perform marriages and could turn a couple away for a number of reasons.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, https://www.trib.com

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