Tags: texas | clerk | sued | gay | marriage | licences

Texas Couple Sues Clerk Claiming Gay Marriage Foot-Dragging

Monday, 06 Jul 2015 11:17 AM

A gay couple sued a rural Texas county clerk for delaying by “at least three weeks” giving them a same-sex marriage license, because the county needed to have paperwork reprinted in a gender-neutral fashion.

Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton were repeatedly turned away last week by the clerk’s office in Hood County, about a half-hour southwest of the Fort Worth federal courthouse where they sued Monday.

The men said they have been “waiting over 27 years to marry” and were “humiliated” by county employees who refused to issue them a license on claims the county’s marriage certificate still needed to be reprinted.

Katie Lang, the county clerk, had said she won’t personally issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it violates her religious beliefs. She said someone else in her office would do so as soon as proper forms are supplied, according to a statement on her website.

The couple’s lawyer said he provided the clerk with copies of corrected state marriage-license applications from the state’s website. They were told a different form was still needed, according to the complaint.

“There is absolutely no valid reason for your office to delay three additional weeks or more to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples,” attorney Jan Soifer said in a letter to Lang last week. “County clerks in Texas issued hundreds of such licenses the very day the Supreme Court issued its opinion” June 26 legalizing gay marriage.

Last week, Texas told the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans it was conceding legal battles against gays who sued for the right to wed.

“We’re working on the first one,” Virginia Chavero, a Hood County deputy clerk, said of the county’s first same-sex marriage license Monday. “We are giving them out as of now.”

When asked if the county had received the reprinted marriage certificates, Chavero said, “not really, but we’re working on it.”

The case is Cato v Lang, 4:15-491, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth).

 

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A gay couple sued a rural Texas county clerk for delaying by "at least three weeks" giving them a same-sex marriage license, because the county needed to have paperwork reprinted in a gender-neutral fashion. Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton were repeatedly turned away last week...
texas, clerk, sued, gay, marriage, licences
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2015-17-06
Monday, 06 Jul 2015 11:17 AM
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