While Liberals are already prepared to accuse the Texas Attorney General of treason, he is simply pointing out the First Amendment still exists.
You would think that, in a nation that has a Constitution recognizing the freedom of religion, this would be completely uncontroversial. But sadly it is not. Reuters reports, “Texas attorney general says county clerks can refuse gay couples.”
County clerks in Texas who object to gay marriage can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite last week’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring states to allow same-sex marriage, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Sunday.
The nation’s top court said on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to wed, handing a victory to the American gay rights movement.
Paxton said in a statement that hundreds of public officials in Texas were seeking guidance on how to implement what he called a lawless and flawed decision by an “activist” court.
The state’s attorney general said that while the Supreme Court justices had “fabricated” a new constitutional right, they did not diminish, overrule, or call into question the First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion.
“County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses,” Paxton wrote, adding that the strength of any such claim would depend on the facts of each case.
“Justices of the peace and judges similarly retain religious freedoms and may claim that the government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections,” Paxton wrote.
This doesn’t mean that every county clerk who believes that marriage, by definition, is a relationship that only obtains between people of the opposite sex, are going to want to risk the harm that could result. The Texas attorney general also warned county clerks that they would be sued. He assured them of backing by the state, but I suspect many are not going to want to be sued.
And they certainly won’t want to be a target for the gaystapo.