Texas Attorney General Encourages County Clerks To Refuse Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) issued a statement on Sunday, openly encouraging the state’s County Clerks to defy the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, by refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. In his statement, Paxton mocked the Supreme Court decision as a “lawless” ruling. He also argued that County Clerks, Judges and Justices of the Peaces should be able to exercise their “religious freedom” to deny issuing marriage licenses and to refuse to conduct weddings for same-sex couples.
Paxton acknowledged that public officials who refused to issue marriage licenses or to perform wedding ceremonies could expose themselves to costly lawsuits, but he assured those defiant officials that he would have their back. Paxton stated:
It is important to note that any clerk who wishes to defend their religious objections and who chooses not to issue licenses may well face litigation and/or a fine. But, numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.
Texas must speak with one voice against this lawlessness, and act on multiple levels to further protect religious liberties for all Texans, but most immediately do anything we can to help our County Clerks and public officials who now are forced with defending their religious beliefs against the Court’s ruling.
Paxton’s grandstanding will undoubtedly be applauded by Texas’ social conservatives. However, Paxton’s job is to uphold the law, not to resist the legal rulings made by the U.S. Supreme Court. By defying the Supreme Court ruling, the Texas Attorney General is attempting to position himself as one-man army for nullification of federal authority.
Paxton is now leading the crusade to protect religious bigotry in Texas. While he may view his efforts as heroic, they bear an uncanny resemblance to Alabama Governor George Wallace proudly and defiantly standing in a school house door to prevent racial desegregation. If Paxton wants to be remembered as the last standing Attorney General who stood for homophobic bigotry while the rest of the nation moved forward, he should just continue on his present course.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.
33 Replies to “Texas Attorney General Encourages County Clerks To Refuse Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples”
Sounds like it’s time to give Texas a costly lesson concerning the Constitution and the supremacy of the Federal Government.
I hope EVERY COUPLE refused a marriage licence by the city or county SUES the SHIT out of Texas.
AND THERE IS NOTHING TEA BAG TEXAS CAN DO ABOUT IT
Texas thinks they are far more important and powerful then they really are. It is well past time that these Red states be held accountable for their numerous acts of rebellion and disrespect to the Federal Government and the Commander in Chief. All Federal dollars should be stopped immediately for starts.
Cut them off all Federal money. Move all military bases out of Texas. If that is not feasible then rename them because the majority of them are name for traitors and racist men
I hope all those idiots who take on these cases pro-bono are kept REAL busy!
Pro-Bono my ass. These are lawyers we are talking about
I’m getting sick and tired of these damn red states , especially Texas, that think they can decide which laws to obey or not obey. And it’s time for the Federal Government to quit pussy-footing around with them. This is exactly what happens, when people think “rights” overrule laws. It’s nothing but pure evil and hatred, masqueraded as “religion”. I don’t know who their God is, but believe me he doesn’t need or want their help to prosecute anyone. “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.”
Your absolutely right, I didn’t think that one through. Paxton might have to go into hiding though if any of those county clerks take him at his word. Texans don’t go anywhere without a gun.
Bigotry and intolerance in the name of “states’ rights” and “religious liberty”? Where have we heard this before?
Why is it that so many conservative politicians are anxious to repeat the mistakes of the past by becoming this era’s version of George Wallace?
He is a real dumbass as Dj would say. No lawyer, pro-bono or not can get them from paying a fine or being sued and possibly jail for disobeying a federal law.
The couples who do this will sue to make a point and won’t be in it for the $$$$.
There are many LAMBDA lawyers who will do this FREE and make a name for themselves.
ignorant YES, powerful NO
I love how they boast as “believing” they’re the largest economy in the US, ummmm NOPE
California Bounces Back As World’s 7th Largest Economy, Larger Than Brazil
States most wanting to secede also receive the most federal money
Texas: A State Destroyed by Rick Perry
Texas has all those military bases and ALL the federal $$$ flowing in and keeping the dumb f*ck state afloat, they’d have a very difficult time surviving without it.
Rick Perry Hones His Image as ‘Texas Miracle’ Fades
Texas – $27 billion deficit
5 powerful BLOWS to tea bag Texas
marriage equality <—couples will sue when denied a license
Texas Abortion Clinic Rules Blocked by Supreme Court in 5-4 Ruling
Wonder if ABBUTT will want to secede
“but he assured those defiant officials that he would have their back.”
Actually, he did NOT. In a very calculatedly devious and cowardly manner, he said “But, numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights”.
Being a “public voice” is not at all the same as taking legal responsibility for his suggestion that government employees were at liberty to disregard the law.
Jail his ass. Stop his paycheck until he starts upholding The LAW. He needs his ass kicked .
I hate when people say they are freedom loving Americans but only if they can decide who gets rights and who doesn’t. I say we don’t let Texas secede from the union, I say we kick them out.
“Paxton acknowledged that public officials who refused to issue marriage licenses or to perform wedding ceremonies could expose themselves to costly lawsuits, but he assured those defiant officials that he would have their back.”
Memo to Bigoted Public Officials: Don’t hold your breath. Once the lawsuits start rolling in, Paxton will back pedal faster than Lance Armstrong on steroids.
So, to summarize the Conservative “thought” process:
Wants a livable wage = free to get a different job, nobody’s forcing them to work there
Expected to treat LGBT with basic human dignity = free to not do your job because Jesus.
Made me laugh too. The court clerks are pro-bono, not the lawyers, court fees or possible fines. Sounds more like the attorneys chasing ambulances to me.
It is the law of the land and county clerks are employed by the State and these clerks, as government employees, do not get to pick and choose which laws they will follow and which laws they will refuse to follow because of personal feelings, religious or otherwise.
Texas is not Tudor England and AG Paxton is not Henry VIII. You don’t get to decide the law on a whim.
Texas has yet to pay for their BS. It will happen (or is already happening). All federal agencies in Texas will stop investing budgetary monies in improvements, extra staffing, etc. Any Texas government agency writing grant proposals to the feds can forget about it. Any plans for expansion will be put on hold, and the federal dollars counted on by Texas will be reduced to a bare minimum. This will all happen quietly, with no fuss by the feds while the arrogant Texas politicians blow hot air.
There are ways and then there are ways…
If you refuse to do your job, get out! And give it to someone who needs a job and will be proud to do it.
They’re certainly welcome to secede from this country’s Constitution and try to catch on with someone else’s that they more closely agree with.
Iran, maybe. Or Russia.
So, if you are employed by the government, state/county and you are refusing to carry out your duties as a employee of we the tax payer, can you effectively do your job for ALL the people? No….they should get a pink slip and go work as a pastor or in a church where they can discriminate lawfully.
” I say, kick them out” Love the thought Will. If only, that were possible? Take back all federal money, any support from the Gov, and KICK THEM OUT. Put Guards on the border require passports to cross over and KICK them out.
If a clerk of court of court works for the government I cannot see how they can refuse a marriage license. Just as a justice of the peace paid for by the taxpayers should obey the law. However churches, ministers,or anyone not paid by a government agency must be exempt from this ruling.i support gay marriage,but never should a church be compelled to comply.
I hate to break it to you because I know you are slow but churches were never forced to marry anyone against their beliefs.
I am talking about what may come years down the road. Any idiot even you should see what I am talking about. We don’t know what kind of ruling may occur in five or ten years. Can’t you see how fast things on this issue are moving. The supreme court rules on politics and personel beliefs and not the constition.
He opened himself up to being a party in the lawsuit by making the suggestion in the first place. He could wind up costing his state in legal fees for him.
People opposesd to gay marriage seem to think that they are above the law.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not give government or citizens the right to deny other citizens their equal protection under the law simply because of the way they were born. Too, they also have a First Amendment religious freedom right to marry whomsoever they choose.
The dissenting justices originally started out recognizing the sexuality of the plaintiffs but then switched in their dissent to just talking about same-sex marriage as if that were the issue.
Neither governments nor citizens have a First Amendment right to impose their religious beliefs on others because they don’t like the way some people are born be it race, gender or sexuality. It does not matter how sincerely held a religious belief is, it cannot be used to usurp the law of the land.
You were NOT kidding about Russia
Putin’s Plot to Get Texas to Secede
I believe I have found along with Rick Wiles the most ignorant focking people in earth
Look at the picture of this woman very carefully. She is a Dominionist, and she holds a position in government. She refuses to do her job by citing personal religious reasons for not issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, therefore she has treasonously violated the First Amendment clause of the separation of church and state and establishing a government sponsored religion, as her boss the Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton has allowed for, thus he is a Dominionist too. They have both outed themselves as Dominionists, they favor theocracy over democracy, thus they have committed treason. Any and all persons who hold public office and refuse to do their public duties because of personal religious beliefs should not be in their positions, and therefore should be removed from office.
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