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County Clerks in Texas Denying Same-Sex Marriage Licenses?

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 11:42 AM

Some county clerks in Texas say they won't issue  marriage licenses to same-sex couples, basing their refusal on religious convictions and following an opinion by the state's attorney general that they could so decline.

Katie Lang, clerk of Hood County, southwest of Fort Worth, said she has not been approached by a same-sex couples asking for a marriage license, but added that she wouldn't do it if asked, reported the the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

 


"It's my religious liberty, my belief in traditional marriage," said Lang. "Nobody has tried to get one, nobody has called about them … other than reporters."

San Jacinto County Clerk Dawn Wright said she wouldn't issue same-sex marriage licenses herself, for religious reasons, but one of six deputy clerks would administer them, according to the Texas Tribune.

Bell County Clerk Shelley Coston said her office would issue same-sex license but would make accommodations for those deputy clerks who objected.

"The costs of defending such a lawsuit and the potential for damages would be substantial," said Coston. "I cannot do that to our taxpayers."

Denton County Clerk Juli Luke said  her office would issue same-sex licenses this week regardless of her religious beliefs, reported the Dallas Morning News.

"Personally, same-sex marriage is in contradiction to my faith and belief that marriage is between one man and one woman," said Luke. "However, first and foremost, I took an oath on my family Bible to uphold the law and as an elected public official my personal belief cannot prevent me from issuing the licenses as required."

Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples should be allowed to be married, saying the ruling was "flawed" and clerks could refused to issue the license on religious grounds, reported the Austin American-Statesman.

"County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses," said Paxton. "The strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case.

"Judges and justices of the peace have no mandatory duty to conduct any wedding ceremony," Paxton added.

 



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Some county clerks in Texas say they won't issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, basing their refusal on religious convictions and following an opinion by the state's attorney general that they could so decline.
county, clerks, texas, denying, same-sex, marriage, licenses
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2015-42-30
Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 11:42 AM
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