Thurston, WA judge won’t perform weddings for gay couples

The Olympian
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January 9, 2013

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor confirmed that he is not making himself available to perform same-sex weddings, due to “philosophical and religious reasons.” “I do not wish to perform same-sex marriages,” Tabor said. Tabor served as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Thurston County for almost 19 years before being elected Thurston County Superior Court judge in 1996, according to his biography on the court’s website. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian College, which is now known as Oklahoma Christian University. OCU’s website states that its members “strive to treat our bodies with the honor due the temple of the Holy Spirit — honoring God’s plan that sexual relations be a part of a marriage between a man and a woman, dressing modestly, and avoiding any self-destructive practices.” Washington voters approved a same-sex marriage referendum in November, and the law took effect in December. In a phone interview Monday, Tabor said he did not intend for his choice “to be a political or legal statement.” He added that a number of other judges in Thurston County have made themselves available to perform same-sex marriages. He added that he is not legally required to perform such marriages. Tabor said that, generally, he has made himself available in the past to perform marriages, and he has also declined to make himself available to perform certain marriages — in the Thurston County Jail, for example.