Judge Censured for Telling Media She Couldn’t Do ‘Gay Weddings’ Appeals to US Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — A judge in Wyoming who was censured earlier this year for making a comment to the media three years ago that she couldn’t officiate same-sex unions as a Christian, and who consequently lost her position as magistrate, has appealed her case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This case presents an important free-exercise question,” the petition, filed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on behalf of  Judge Ruth Neely, reads. “Although the state has a system of individualized exemptions that permits magistrates to decline marriages for nearly any secular reason, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that Judge Neely could not refer same-sex-marriage requests (if she ever received any) to other magistrates for the religious reason she expressed.”

As previously reported, Neely told a reporter for the Sublette Examiner in 2014 after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex “marriage” that she personally could not take part in the officiation.

“I will not able to do them,” Neely stated. “We have at least one magistrate who will do same-sex marriages, but I will not be able to. … When law and religion conflict, choices have to be made.”

She made clear that her personal inability would not stop homosexuals from finding a local judge to officiate.

In January 2015, following a complaint from Democratic Party Chairwoman Ana Cuprill, the Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics launched an investigation into Neely’s remarks.

It soon issued her a notice of that disciplinary proceedings would commence. Neely was accused of violating six rules of judicial conduct, including that she “manifested a bias” by her statement and therefore possessed prejudice in regard to so-called sexual orientation.

  • Connect with Christian News

Neely, who has served as judge for over 20 years, has never been asked to officiate a same-sex ceremony.

The Commission advised Neely during the disciplinary proceedings that if she admitted wrongdoing and resigned her position, and agreed to never again run for judicial office, it would drop the matter. She declined.

The Commission then asked Neely last February if she would issue a public apology for her statement and agree to officiate same-sex ceremonies. She replied that she could not because of her religious convictions.

Neely also wrote in a letter to the state’s judicial ethics advisory committee, “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.”

Therefore, the Commission recommended to the Wyoming Supreme Court that Neely be removed from office.

While the court did find Judge Ruth Neely’s words to be a violation of the Wyoming Code of Judicial Conduct, it did not believe that she had committed any acts worthy of removal.

“Judge Neely has not violated a clear procedural rule governing the performance of her legal duties. As a municipal court judge, she had no authority to perform marriages. As a part-time circuit court magistrate, she had the power to perform marriage ceremonies, but she was not required to do so. She has not violated the law in her daily life, and she has not violated a procedural rule of law,” wrote Justices James Burke, William Hill and Kate Fox.

However, they declared that going forward, Neely must either agree to perform all marital ceremonies or none at all. The court further said that the the circuit court judge who appointed her as a magistrate was to also decide whether Neely would be able to continue to serve in that capacity.

A week later, Neely lost her position as magistrate.

“The Wyoming Supreme Court demanded that Judge Neely either commit to performing same-sex weddings or stop performing all weddings—an ultimatum that drove her from her magistrate position,” ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell explained in a press release on Friday. “The court didn’t need to do that. If Judge Neely were ever asked to officiate a same-sex wedding, which has never happened and the court acknowledged was ‘not likely’ to occur, she would’ve quickly connected that couple to judges able to perform their wedding.”

“That is exactly what other judges do when they face secular conflicts, and there’s no reason why Judge Neely’s religious conflict should be treated worse,” he said.

ADF is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to at least hold the petition pending the upcoming Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling.


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. While we provide for the physical needs of the people, we seek to provide the eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ through the word of God. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work? Please click here to send an audio Bible to a refugee family >>

Print Friendly
  • Worf

    “Homosexuality is a named sin in the Bible, as are drunkenness, thievery, lying, and the like…

    So are eating shellfish, eating a cheeseburger or anything that mixes meat and dairy, eating pork, eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it, being a male who is not circumcised, speaking in church as a woman, mixing fabrics in clothing, trimming your beard, mistreating foreigners, etc. The list goes on and on.

    Ridiculously cherry picked religious dogmas do not give government employees the right to discriminate against fellow Americans.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      “Ridiculously cherry picked religious dogmas do not give government employees the right to discriminate against fellow Americans.”

      interesting how people who claim to be for “freedom” and “choice” have a conniption when others they disagree with express theirs ………… and then they do the exact same thing that they accuse others of doing …. without any understanding of what they are quoting ……. like CHERRY PICKING ………….

    • Jerome Horwitz

      So are eating shellfish, eating a cheeseburger or anything that mixes meat and dairy, eating pork, eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it, being a male who is not circumcised, speaking in church as a woman, mixing fabrics in clothing, trimming your beard, mistreating foreigners, etc. The list goes on and on.

      Irrelevant. We are Christians. Not Jewish.

      • Worf

        “It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid.” Luke 16:17

        “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-19

        “…the scripture cannot be broken.” John 10:35

        **Edit: The part about women being silent in churches is NT:
        Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
        1 Corinthians 14:34

        All that aside, the Judge is a government official paid with tax dollars. She is absolutely free to live according to her particular religious beliefs. But those beliefs do not excuse her from parts of her job she disagrees with, nor do they give her special rights to discriminate against others. She is legally bound to the constitution, and that includes Supreme Court decisions. As long as Obergefell v. Hodges stands she has to either do her entire job or quit.

        • Jerome Horwitz

          Seriously? All you have done is give a continuous display of your ignorance.

          Jesus specifically said He came to fulfill Mosaic law. Which is why Christians go by the New Testament and not the first five books of the Old, written by Moses and referred to as the Torah or the Pentateuch.

          And the equally irrelevant verse on the silence of women pertains to women in leadership positions in the church.

    • Lydia Church

      Those who commit this sin don’t get into heaven. See 1 Cor. 6; 9-11. There is no such verse about eating kosher. Reread the Bible, repeat as necessary. This is not a game.

  • Reason2012

    Adults continue to permanently turn away from homosexuality, even after decades of believing the lie they were “born that way”, proving it’s not genetic, but the product of indoctrination, confusion, mental instability and/or abuse.

    Homosexual behavior is most literally pointed out as a sin, and God has not changed on that regard. But if a person has those inclinations but does not act upon them, does not dwell in lust upon others, but is instead struggling against them to avoid them, then it’s not a sin. It’s just like sinful inclinations of any kind: it’s acting upon it when it becomes a sin.

    And this is what God says about sin and specifically the behavior of homosexuality:

    Romans 1:26-27 ”For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their_lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ”Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [men who willingly take on the part of a “woman” with another man], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [s odomites], (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    1 Timothy 1:9-10 ”Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, (10) For_whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind [s odomites], for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;”

    Jude 1:7 ”Even as_Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

    Luke 17:29 ”[Jesus said] But the same day that Lot went out of_Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”

    Matthew 19:4-6 ”And he [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

    Jesus made it quite clear God made us male and female so that a man will leave his father and mother (not two fathers, not three mothers and so on) and cleave onto his wife (not his husband and so on).

    The Word of God rebukes us all – even if we all try to say we don’t believe the Bible, the very Word of God will be our judge when we face Him. And God is a righteous judge and will judge us all – not turn a blind eye to our sin. Do not be deceived by the world: it’s God we will have to convince that His word was a lie, not men. What happened in Noah’s day when the entire world rejected God? Did God spare them because there were so many? No – they all perished except for Noah and his family!

    Proverbs 9:10 ”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

    God spared not His chosen people – we are kidding ourselves if we think He will spare the United States of America if we choose to blatantly turn away from Him.

    Jeremiah 12:17 ”But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD.”

    Luke 17:28-30 “So also as it was in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; (29) but the day Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from the heaven and destroyed them all. (30) Even so it shall be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”

    Romans 1:18-32 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold [suppress] the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, m urder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

    The entire Bible points out men having_sex with men is an abomination. Likewise woman having_sex with women. It’s not just Paul that pointed it out.

    Genesis 19:4-13 “But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of S odom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them [men wanting to have_sex with men].

    And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing [he offers his daughters to be_raped to keep them from having_sex with another man – shows_rape is not the issue but male on male_sex]; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

    And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

    And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.”

    These two messengers were sent to destroy that place before the event where they tried to_rape these messengers.

    Leviticus 18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

    Leviticus 20:13 “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination …”

    Even cross-dressing is an abomination:

    Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

    Deuteronomy 23:17 “There shall be no_whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a s odomite of the sons of Israel.”

    1 Kings 22:46 “And the remnant of the s odomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.”

    1 Kings 15:11-12 “And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the s odomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.”

    2 Kings 23:7 “And he brake down the houses of the s odomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.”

    Ezekiel 16:49-50 “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister S odom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”

    And the “pride” parades about homosexuality are more of the same.

    Even Jesus points out marriage is a man and a woman.

    Matthew 19:4-5 “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”

    Not father and father. Not mother and mother. Not his husband.

    And only two people of opposite gender can become “one flesh”.

    Live forever, people – not temporarily only to be cast out for living for the things of this world.

    May God/Jesus Christ be glorified!

    • mainemusclex2

      Jesus is a myth.

      • Reason2012

        Attacking belief in God only shows what your true motive is for pretending to be an lgbt activist.

        • mainemusclex2

          Reason: apparently your name does not extend to your judgment.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        is that a scientific or theological argument ………

      • Jerome Horwitz

        Troll. Flagged.

  • mr goody two shoes

    Are these sins just on Sunday in church…. 1 homosexuality and #2 being a female in authority positions such as pastors or Judges. I think the bible doesn’t want either of these things for Gods people .

  • Worf

    28 U.S. Code § 453 – Oaths of justices and judges

    Each justice or judge of the United States shall take the following oath or affirmation before performing the duties of his office: “I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ___ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

    She gave this oath, almost certainly with the appeal to her god. She then violated that oath using that same god as the scapegoat. The hypocrisy of these people is hard to believe.

    • Jerome Horwitz

      Her God doesn’t approve of homosexuality. Neither does she. Not hard to understand.

      • Worf

        “…that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ___ under the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

        She swore and oath to uphold the constitution in its entirety. Her god’s role was entirely as a witness. His nor her feelings are relevant to her doing her job.

        • Jerome Horwitz

          Wrong. Nobody has to shed what they believe once they become government employees, nor should they be forced to. The Constitution doesn’t say that, and never has.

        • NCOriolesFan

          Something SCOTUS should follow too.

  • Lydia Church

    That’s right. No gay weddings. Period. Good for her!

    • mainemusclex2

      Good for her? Out of a job? Sorry, but she has exhibited clearly that she has a bias against gay people therefore she is incapable of presiding over a fair hearing.

      Now, Lydia, just shut up. Thank you.

  • mainemusclex2

    Good for her? Out of a job? Sorry, but she has exhibited clearly that she has a bias against gay people therefore she is incapable of presiding over a fair hearing.

    • Jerome Horwitz

      Any hearing?

      • mainemusclex2

        Any hearing. If she has expressed a bias against an identified group, one of that group may be in any adjudicated case.

        • Jerome Horwitz

          What nonsense.

          • mainemusclex2

            Intelligent response, Jerome.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            What more do you want? You want this woman to be kicked off the bench because she doesn’t want to do same-sex marriage ceremonies. But that dog don’t hunt.

          • mainemusclex2

            A woman who feels so strongly against an identified segment of society that she voluntarily (she could have been silent) expresses prejudice toward that group has, by her own admission, said she is not impartial should not serve as a judge.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            No, she is saying she doesn’t want to perform same-sex weddings. You are saying she has a bias that’s across the board without any proof, and saying she shouldn’t be on the bench for that reason.

            No, that shows a bias on your part, one where you only want people who agree with you. It doesn’t work that way.

          • mainemusclex2

            Actually, it does work that way and it is working that way. You just don’t want to see it that way.

            She has expressed a bias toward a certain class of people under certain circumstances. It is reasonable to assume, as the law would, that her bias is quite entrenched, for example, she went out of her way to announce her position before it was ever brought into question. That is sufficient to presume her bias extends, say, to a same-sex couple in a litigation over another matter. Or a challenge over a child’s custody where one couple is same sex.

            If she had said, regardless of the law, I will not marry a mixed race couple, again, she would be unsuitable.

            A judge must be fair and impartial. And that is the way it works.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            The only place where that works is inside your mind.

          • mainemusclex2

            This is not a particular party. This is an entire class of people.

            You are ignorant of constitutional law.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            This has nothing to do with constitutional law. This has to do with your own bias and bigotry.

            Judges are very rarely removed from the bench, and when it happens, it’s due to gross misconduct or criminal activity.

            You want her removed because she doesn’t want to do same-sex marriage ceremonies.

            And now you bring up constitutional law, as if there’s something in there to back up your hysterical revenge fantasy?

            Holmes, you need to sit down and shut up before you embarrass yourself further.

          • mainemusclex2

            No, dude, your eyes must be brown for a reason:

            √ The Supreme Court has held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees criminal defendants the right to trial by an impartial judge. The Court arrived at this decision in Tumey v. Ohio (1927)

            √ “Disqualification is required if an objective observer would entertain reasonable questions about the judge’s impartiality. If a judge’s attitude or state of mind leads a detached observer to conclude that a fair and impartial hearing is unlikely, the judge must be disqualified” (Liteky v. U.S., 1994).

            √ Judges, like defense attorneys and prosecutors, are required to abide by codes of conduct that require them to remove (or recuse) themselves when conflicts of interest exist or if they are biased or prejudiced toward either party. (as, for example in any future case involving same sex couples in any way.

            ,,,and as for SCOTUS,

            √ US supreme court justices enjoy a special privilege: they are the only judges exempt from the federal Code of Conduct, which demands judicial impartiality and prohibits a jurist from presiding when he or she has “a personal bias concerning a party to the case”.

            Try out for Mrs. Hudson.

            …and another twit eats…

          • Jerome Horwitz

            1) Not relevant.

            2) You are now being intellectually dishonest. You want the judge completely off the bench. You have indicated that much far. When I mention recusal, all of a sudden you feel you need to talk about it as if you came up with it first.

            3) 28 US Code Subsection 455 doesn’t give an exemption to SCOTUS. Now you’re just making stuff up.

            If you can’t be honest, there’s no need to engage you further.

          • mainemusclex2

            Jerry, kid,

            Try not to accuse lying when the statement is so obviously true as evidenced by 3,240,000 Google entries. It makes you look like Trump:

            Stanford Law & Policy Review, August 20, 2014,

            Supreme Unaccountability: The Nine Federal Judges to Whom No Code of Ethics Applies

    • NCOriolesFan

      SCOTUS has bias against common decency and common sense. She still have her job if SCOTUS if had not interfered with the electorate’s right to decide.

      • mainemusclex2

        Your view is in contradiction of the US Constitution.

        • NCOriolesFan

          SCOTUS IS the contradiction, not me.

          • mainemusclex2

            Stick to baseball. The US Constitution is waaaay outta your league.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            I have read the Constitution. It doesn’t say anything about marriage or homosexuality.

          • NCOriolesFan

            or abortion.

  • Reason2012

    Does a black baker who has no problem selling cakes to white people have to use his business support the anti-black acts like a “the beliefs of black people do not matter” gathering? Would a black printer who has no problem serving white people have to make printings to support anti-black act like “the beliefs of black people do not matter” request? Does a mulsim baker who has no problem selling cakes to non-mulsim people have to use his business support the anti-muslim acts like a “lets draw muhammad” party?

    No. Those requests would be denied even if asked by another black person or another muslim.

    The only bigots in such a case are those who sought this black baker or black printer out to support this ACT. And so it goes with homosexual activists who seek out Christian bakers and Christian business owners to force them to support such anti-Christian acts no matter if it’s a homosexual who makes the request or not, whether a Christian makes the request or not, more so when such people have no problem serving those who declare they’re into homosexuality. 100% of their customers would be denied this request. They’d also be denied a request for a polygamous wedding cake.

    America is waking up to the deception from homosexual activists, and cases like this make it more obvious and make people more aware of what the real motive is of same-gender marriage and transgender bathrooms is: the offshoot criminalization of those who do not support these ACTS.

    And keep in mind, these same homosexual activists hate LGBT people. When 50 of them were_killed in Orlando, these same activists jumped to the defense of_islam as the “religion of peace”, while not saying a word to defend those who were_killed, but instead keep going after those “evil” Christians for not violating their Christian faith and perform anti-Christian acts.

    Keep in mind they are anti-Christian activists, not LGBT people in general, but activists that have proven they hate LGBT people and are just using them to push this anti-Christian agenda.

  • NCOriolesFan

    Another casualty of SCOTUS fantasy constitutional rights, like abortion.

  • mainemusclex2

    These people who write in an argue was is now settled law, could do themselves a favor and read the decisions of SCOTUS on why and how the decisions were made. It would make them look far less silly than a baseball fan passing judgment on the decisions of the Supreme Court, as though he had a better grasp of the law.

    It got Trump into trouble, and will likely be his downfall: “Knowledge makes people humble. Arrogance makes people ignorant.”

    You are arguing settled law. If you don’t understand it, that’s OK. It is still settled law. You might just as well argue that against the setting of the sun.

    • Jerome Horwitz

      Plessy v. Ferguson and Dred Scott were also settled law.

      • mainemusclex2

        Good luck waiting for this to be overturned.

        The lady, methinks, doth protest too much. But then, perhaps you have much invested.

        • Jerome Horwitz

          ?????????

  • Reason2012

    It was settled law that same-gender marriage was illegal.
    It was settled law that abortion was illegal.
    So just like they changed it to promote their agenda, it can be changed back again.
    And in the end we’ll answer to God’s laws, not man’s.