A Delaware judge’s marriage officiant is facing a backlash after he called marriage between a woman and a man “marriage of convenience” on Facebook
A Delaware court has fired an officiant who called marriage for a woman between a man and a woman “marriage in convenience” and asked, “If it is a sin to marry, why does the government not allow for same-sex marriage?”
Delaware State Court Judge Thomas O’Brien has been the subject of criticism since his comments about marriage officiants on social media, where they are often viewed as insensitive.
“Marriage is a religious institution,” O’Brian wrote on Facebook on July 15.
“I will not allow a law that discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation to exist.
I would never tolerate this in my community, even if it was legally possible.
The only way to preserve this sacred institution is to abolish it.”
O’Brian’s comments were widely criticized and have since been removed.
He was later reinstated.
“It’s a shame that the judge’s actions have caused a lot of pain to some people.
He shouldn’t have used the platform for such an insensitive and ignorant way of expressing himself,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware said in a statement to CNNMoney.
“The state has a strong record of protecting the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and we’re disappointed that the court allowed this person to continue to do so.”
O’tBrien was the first state court to fire an officious for making the remarks.
The Delaware Supreme Court on Monday also ruled that a court clerk’s remarks were not in violation of the state’s anti-discrimination law.
The ACLU of Delaware is also asking the state Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
“I think that the decision to fire the officiant was made based on a number of factors,” ACLU of Wilmington Legislative Director Jodi Renn said.
“First, this person’s remarks have already been reported to the court, so it’s not surprising that they’re under investigation.”
O’dBrien was suspended for a month pending an investigation by the Delaware Supreme Judicial Court and was also ordered to pay $10,000 in fines.
The state has not said whether the fine will be paid.
O’Brien also said on his Facebook page that he had no intention of making a mistake.
“To be perfectly honest with you, I made a mistake,” he wrote.
“My wife and I have been married for almost 16 years.
I love her very much and I don’t want her to be offended or hurt by my words or actions.
We are blessed to have been able to marry the same day.
I’m so thankful for the strength and love that she has for me.”