TEXAS: Hood County Clerk Caves, Issues Marriage License To Gay Couple, Couple Won't Drop Their Lawsuit
A gay couple that sued a rural Texas county clerk over a delay in the issuing of a marriage license received the certificate just hours after filing the complaint. Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton say they won’t drop their lawsuit though until the clerk’s office agrees to issue marriage licenses to “all couples, gay and straight, without delay.” They also want their legal fees paid by the county. Cato and 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. They said they were told it would take “at least three weeks,” because the county needed to have paperwork reprinted in a gender-neutral fashion.Today's marriage license was hand-written.
The men said they have been “waiting over 27 years to marry” and were “humiliated” by county employees’ refusal. 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 the county clerk’s 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.
RELATED: Last week Texas Values and local haters rallied in support of the clerk.