Reckless Texas Politicians, Religious-Right Group Just Cost Taxpayers $44,000

Days after the U.S.  Supreme Court ruled that gay and lesbian couples have the freedom to marry, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a formal opinion claiming that public officials could use their religious beliefs as an excuse for refusing to issue marriage licenses to or conduct weddings for same-sex couples. The Plano-based, religious-right group Liberty Institute also rushed forward with its lawyers to defend the “religious liberty” of public officials refusing to do their taxpayer-funded jobs.

All of those reckless efforts to subvert the Supreme Court’s ruling just cost taxpayers in Hood County southwest of Fort Worth nearly $44,000.

On Monday Hood County Commissioners agreed to pay the attorney fees — $43,872.10 — for a gay couple who sued after the county clerk, Katie Lang, repeatedly refused to issue them a marriage license. She claimed that issuing the license would offend her religious beliefs. Liberty Institute’s lawyers defended her and even used the case as a fundraising tool.

Now taxpayers in Hood County have to pay the penalty for such irresponsibility. They have Lang, Paxton and Liberty Institute to thank for that. Maybe someone should ask Liberty Institute to cover the cost with the money they raised off the case.

7 thoughts on “Reckless Texas Politicians, Religious-Right Group Just Cost Taxpayers $44,000

  1. I remember when Jerry Falwell’s ministry complex in Lynchburg lost a radio antenna during a severe storm. They used the loss as a fund-raising campaign even though the antenna was fully insured. This sort of fund-raising deceit is common among religious Fundamentalists, since they believe any duplicitous action is ethical when it helps support their religious goals.

    By the way, my wife and I visited the Perot Science Museum in Dallas over the weekend. There was zero pandering to fundamentalist beliefs in the museum exhibits. It had an evolution exhibit for children, an exhibit about climate change, realistic images of the human body, plenty of phylogenetic trees (cladograms) of ancient vertebrates, images of ancient hominins including the wonderful depiction of the Australopithecus afarensis couple walking upright arm-in-arm and leaving footprints in the volcanic mud, later discovered and preserved at Laetoli.

    1. Being as how it is located in Texas, I am surprised it has not been shut down for incurring the same criminal charges as Socrates…sorry “So Crates.”

  2. @Steven S…That’s great to hear about the Perot Science Museum. Will be adding that to my “to-visit list”. 🙂

  3. Those funny-mentalists disgust me beyond what my vocabulary will permit to say.
    Paxton and all other state officials need to be arrested and placed where they belong–where they can do no further damage. That sounds like prison to me.
    ALL government employees take an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States. It does not mention their freaking so-called religious feelings.
    By refusing to issue a license she has violated the law and it is clear that she is putting her so-called religious feelings ahead of the Constitution.

    Those fundies are not being asked to do anything that should bother their conscious, it isn’t as though she is being asked to perform the weddings.

    I’m permitted to perform weddings in every state in the country. I’d be honored to perform any marriage including gay weddings. Oh, BTW, I never charge for a wedding.

  4. This is wrong on so many levels. The couple absolutely should have their attys fees paid. However, because this clerk was acting under the illegal assurances and recommendations of the AG, the tax payers shouldn’t suffer. Those AG and clerk should. The state should sue them for reimbursement. Other than a slap on the wrist, they have nothing to lose by acting illegally. They should be on the hook financially as individuals in this particular circumstance.

  5. @Steven S… I am sorry but that depiction of the A. afarensis couple walking is clearly inaccurate. They should be texting and checking their route on google maps while walking……