TEXAS: AG Ken Paxton Says Clerks Can Refuse To Issue Marriage Licenses
County clerks can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on religious objections to gay marriage, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Sunday. Paxton noted that clerks who refuse to issue licenses can expect to be sued, but added that “numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs,” in many cases without charge. The formal opinion did not specify what constitutes a sincerely held religious belief, noting that “the strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case.”Paxton: "The reach of the court’s opinion stops at the door of the First Amendment and our laws protecting religious liberty."
“Friday, the United States Supreme Court again ignored the text and spirit of the Constitution to manufacture a right that simply does not exist. In so doing, the court weakened itself and weakened the rule of law, but did nothing to weaken our resolve to protect religious liberty and return to democratic self-government in the face of judicial activists attempting to tell us how to live,” Paxton said. Paxton’s opinion also noted that judges and justices of the peace can refuse to perform same-sex marriages.
Read the full opinion.