Folding Like a Cheap Suit

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s personal jihad against the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples is falling apart. Faced with a possible contempt charge from an angry federal judge, Paxton this week decided the state must acknowledge the legally married spouses of same-sex couples on both death and birth certificates.

Paxton’s office had advised Texas officials that it was unclear whether the state had to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples conducted before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down bans on such unions in June. That advice came despite an order by U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia that Texas officials may not, in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, impose restrictions on the marriages of those couples.

Based on Paxton’s advice, the Department of State Health Services refused to change a death certificate to reflect that a deceased man was the legally married spouse of his surviving husband. Moreover, state officials were refusing to list the names of both legally married, same-sex parents on the birth certificates of their adopted children.

The failure to comply with Judge Garcia’s order (to essentially obey the U.S. Supreme Court) imposed unnecessary legal problems on the families of legally married same-sex couples. In the death certificate case, for example, the surviving spouse (who himself suffers from terminal cancer) couldn’t obtain title to his late husband’s estate unless the death certificate were revised to acknowledge their marriage.

Judge Garcia last week ordered Paxton and the head of the Department of State Health Services to appear before him and explain why they shouldn’t be held in contempt for failing to comply with his earlier order. Paxton — who already has had to back away from his formal opinion that state officials can refuse, on religious grounds, to license or perform the marriages of same-sex couples — then reversed his advice. Now state officials will acknowledge legally married same-sex spouses on death certificates as well as the birth certificates of their adopted children.

Why did Paxton fold like a cheap suit? Perhaps he figured he has enough legal troubles on his plate without also facing a contempt charge from a federal judge. Earlier this month a grand jury in North Texas  indicted Paxton on unrelated felony charges that could send him to prison for decades.

Keep in mind that Paxton is the state’s leading law enforcement official.

Our friends at Equality Texas have more on this issue here.

4 thoughts on “Folding Like a Cheap Suit

  1. Currently, I am banging my head against the nearest wall.
    Paxton should kept doing his car dealership and not tried to become the state’s AG.
    Why do so many crooks get elected to some of the highest offices in this god-forsaken state?
    Further, I wonder what is wrong with the average Texas voter. According to a new study just published by the University of Virginia, Conservatives seem to have not developed their brains thus making it possible to have a bunch of people who see only black and white, they see no shades of color, just absolute right and absolute wrong; their brains are not wired to think critically and thus vote for things like Cruz.
    They know only Christianity and do not see that there are more than one religion in this world. And while they are professing their one and only religious thoughts, they do not bother reading their own books.
    Example: Jesus, in Matthew 6 tells them not to pray in public. So what do they do? Not only do they insist on praying in pubic, but try to get others who are not Christians, and there are more and more of us, to pray with them even when it breaks the tenets of their own religion.
    In the loony tunes chapter of conservatism is a blow hard by the name of Hukabee said that he would force people to listen to the idiotic mumblings of one David Barton by force. What kind of force? Down the barrel of a gun. Yes, he actually SAID that.
    Then there is the bunch who call themselves Christians yet hate the people who gave them their god. How stupid is that?
    Then there is Bush and who was elected governor and I can’t think of much of his evolution. The funny-mentals voted him for PRESIDENT?
    As I finish this I keep hear the sound of clowns getting into and out of VWs.

  2. He is folding like a cheap suit because of two things:

    1) If convicted of contempt or the other charges, his license to practice will be stripped.

    2) A person with a criminal record would almost certainly fail if they ever wanted to run for the governor’s office.

    But here is the big thing. When one’s supposed devotion to Jesus rams into the brick wall of self-preservation, Jesus gets tossed in the ditch so Paxton can be free to pursue his career goals. Oh!!!! Let’s sing along:

    Paxton’s tossed Jesus in the ditch…

  3. Hi Beverly,

    Shalom! 🙂 I tend to agree with you. As a Coach, I do not pray with the team in the locker room and do not like it when athletes circle up at midfield. There is a reason Jesus said go and do those things in private.

    I can only think of that Judy Collins song “Send in the Clowns”. I have no clue what the mission is of some but I am getting tired of people getting bashed and threatened by the people who say God is their God and then forget that they are to be at peace with all men, speak the truth in love, give an account for the hope. Some of them are worse than Charlemagne.
    Besides, I am not God and He can handle things better than I.

    Unfortunately there is an intellectual side to Christianity that many of these are forgetting. I can give a sound rational defense without being personal, catty or adolescent. It is fun to talk about but never in a harmful way. Or in a way to try and convert people.

    School starts in 1 week.

    Bye for now.