Austin television station KXAN sent a reporter to San Saba, west of Austin, to find out why a county clerk there is refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Apparently, the clerk originally said she didn’t have to do so because marriage for gay and lesbian couples violates her religious beliefs.
But once the reporter got to her office, the clerk’s office changed the reason:
“I don’t have the proper documentation. I don’t have the proper forms.”
Uh, yeah. Right.
Look, many counties across Texas made the necessary accommodations to issue licenses right after the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
The blame for the delays in San Saba and other countries lies largely with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who issued a formal opinion on Sunday telling county clerks that they cause use their religious beliefs to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Magistrates and justices of the peace can likewise refuse to perform weddings for such couples, Paxton wrote.
So now public officials like the one in San Saba are, with encouragement from the state’s chief law enforcement official, refusing to serve taxpayers who pay their salaries.
But those officials know they’re doing something wrong. Watch the video report from KXAN here, in which the San Saba clerk pretends there are other reasons for not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She then threatens to have the county sheriff throw the reporter out of her office.
“We’re not giving any opinions to the tee-vee. … The sheriff’s down the hall here if you don’t get out of this office. … You’re buggin’ us. You’re buggin’ us. Please get out of here.”
We’re laying this outrageous arrogance and disregard of the law and the Constitution at your feet, Ken Paxton. You encouraged it. You got it.
30 thoughts on “This Is Your Fault, Ken Paxton”
If it violates her religious convictions shouldn’t the clerk be excluded.
As far as not doing it just for the sake of not doing it is troublesome.
It’s her JOB to do it. If she has religious reasons not to do it, she needs to get another job. We are required to obey laws and court orders if we live in the United States. We are not allowed to pick and choose which laws and court orders we obey. Peroid. Ken Paxton ought to be disbarred.
No, she should not be excluded. She’s a public servant whose salary is paid, at least in part, by the taxpayers she would be refusing to serve. More fundamentally, it’s a dangerous road once you start letting government officials pick and choose which folks they find morally acceptable enough to serve. What if she objects to interfaith marriages? Or belongs to a religious sect that preaches white supremacy and opposes interracial marriages? Or is Catholic and refuses to provide a license to someone who has been previously divorced? Government is required to treat everyone as equal under the law.
What’s next? Are we going to let fundie science teachers refuse to teach the evolution portion of the science curriculum because it violates their religious beliefs? Are we going to let a world history teacher ignore the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran Church, and Church of England in her teaching because she believes they are all apostate churches? Are Wal-Mart workers going to refuse to work on Sunday because it violates their religion? This nonsense has no end when you get it going.
Now. Here is how I would handle this if I were enforcing the law for President Obama. I would walk into the San Saba County Sheriff’s office with two U.S. Marshals and 12 101st Airborne Division troops in full battle gear. I would say, “Sheriff, we are here to serve a federal arrest warrant on the County Court Clerk down the hall. No interference from your office will be tolerated in this arrest.” I would then turn to the Platoon Leader and say, “If the Sheriff or any of his deputies make a move for a gun or this doorway, drop them where they stand!!!”
I would then walk down the hall and say, “Federal officer!!! Get you’re sorry ass out from behind that counter now. You are under arrest for obstruction of justice.” I would the read her rights, handcuff her, put her in the Humvee, and haul her off to the nearest federal holding facility to await arraignment and trial.
Not sure the 101st would do that. But the reason I asked was because of the Hobby Lobby nonsense. And also didn’t a while back some pharmacist refuse to do something because of religious conviction?
They would if the President ordered them to. Like I said, it was already done in Little Rock in the mid-1950s.
Sorry, what was the documentation about that?
Oh, that’s right, it’s just your imagination.
Do you have a point, Amazed, other than to express your bigotry on a forum that’s not too keen on bigotry?
Yes, some pharmacists at a CVS Pharmacy refused to fill some prescriptions for some women because of their own personal religious beliefs. CVS stood behind the pharmacist. If you can’t leave your religious beliefs at home when you know you’ll be asked to fill certain prescriptions, why are you a pharmacist? I won’t even enter the front door of a CVS. They’ll never get one penny of my shopping dollar.
Marsisi, I think it was the morning after pill. I’m with you, I do not shop at CVS because of it. I also no longer shop at Hobby Lobby. I live in Waco and I’m afraid if all this nonsense takes off in other Christian owned businesses in town, of which there are many, I’ll be shopping on line or driving 30 mins or more. But I’ll drive an hour before I give my money to anyone who behaves this way.
It’s my belief that I should be able to spit at any one I want, so while working, if a Christian came into my state job for some paper work to register their car I should be able to spit at them correct?
Dan was nice to you. I’m not. Were you born stupid, or did you just grow into it?
Huh? What? Is it Wednesday? Huh? What.
Sorry Corey. I apparently clicked the wrong reply button.
This is a slippery slope. Next comes a clerk who refuses to issue a driver’s license or a voter registration card or even to supply car license plates because he/she doesn’t believe that LGBT’s, Muslims, Jews, Blacks and even Christians of another denomination meet his/her criteria.
These people are breaking not state laws but Federal laws, and Federal prison is where they belong. But as they are the most protected, privileged class/group of people (conservative Christians) they will not ha e together held responsible for their actions. I am sure when one of these white folk refused to give marriage licenses to a “mixed” couple in the past, they too never got held accountable and hid behind religion. I despise these people more than words can say because NEVER in history have they supported any minority’s breing allowed equal rights, protections and privileges under the law. They are all that is bad about America, in fact they are Anti-Americsn. I wish more of them would join the military and go to Middle Easr and suffer for their religion. A firing line or the electric chair is too good a way for these scum bags too die!
The US Army does not enforce Federal Law. That is the task of Homeland Security and the FBI. If you want to play Cowboy, put on your John Wayne Hat and go into the backyard and have fun with the eight year olds playing out there.
The conflict between State and Federal power has been playing out since the Constitution was written. Well educated grown ups will work out the details without arresting anyone or deploying the Army; you can help them by learning the facts and difficult problems involved or play with the kiddos. Its your choice.
You might get an education Roger. Federal troops have been used in the American past to enforce U.S. Supreme Court rulings. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock in the mid-1950s to enforce the desegregation order of a federal court. This is not a conflict between federal power and state power. The Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution clearly states in black and white that neither Texas nor any other state has the authority to defy a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Where do you get your education? FUX News?
Well, Texas has made national news AGAIN due to the intolerant, arrogant extremists. However, this is my understanding of the law: 1) TX does not have an Employer Nondiscrimination Act nor did the SCOTUS opinions regarding DOMA nor right for same sex marriage make the LGBT community a protected class under the U.S. Constitution. Thus, in our state LGBTs can still be fired simply because they are who they are. Under the new ruling, every same sex couple has to be given a marriage license. If the county clerk won’t do it, then someone else in their office must. Additionally, Texas has no county residency requirements for obtaining a marriage license. Therefore, couples can go to any county to get one. Finally, JPs and Justices can refuse to marry a couple as long as it does not cause an “undue burden” on the couple. This has been the law and remains so. I’ve been a Texan all my life and have been proud of it. I’m still proud of the people but I hide my head in shame because of the arrogant, bigoted, small minded elected officials-Abbott, Patrick, Cruz, et al-who speak for us. I didn’t elect them, I don’t want them and they don’t speak for me. Yet, either I’m in a very small minority or the group I’m in doesn’t vote. Either way, I’m sickened.
They don’t speak for me either.
Where is Ann Richards when we need her?
Did anyone read the news story this morning about the hardware store owner who is refusing service to gay people?
Two can play that game. Find a business in Texas that is run by a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical owner. Call them up or send them an e-mail message saying that you will be doing business with one of their competitors instead of them until the politicians in Texas obey the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
The real problem lies in the fact that if we make exceptions then exceptions become the rules. I wouldn’t perform the wedding at my church but if I was a state employee I would issue the license as I do not believe in
interfering with people who are making free will decisions. Church is a different matter.
I have seen lots of bigoted venom come out of these forums and name calling and everything else.
Going back to the beginning… I just feel sorry for people who are so insecure in their own marriage, or so insecure with their own masculinity or femininity, that somehow they feel threatened by what other folks do or don’t do in THEIR own bedrooms. So sad!
Agreed Ariel. Let’s get on with life. There’s more to it than this issue.
Once again, I’m happy I am not a bigot. People who think that the Court make a new law are too ignorant to walk and chew gum at the same time.
All they did was enforce a law that has been on the books for 147 years. The states were denying equal protection under the law. The court corrected that.
If you are not a part of the LGBT community then you are not affected one way or the other.
I’m disgusted by the hate being preached in so many churches that I could scream.
I’m licensed to perform marriages and if a gay couple wanted to marry, I’d do it in a heart beat.
When I was learning how to be a crisis intervention/suicide prevention counselor we were asked what the difference between straight and gay love. The answer is that love is love, period.
With that two bigots walked out never to never return. I pith people who hate others that much.
Here’s the text of my email to a Dallas pastor who made derogatory remarks regarding marriage equality:
I understand that you’re hurt right now. The Supreme Court let you down. You truly expected all five of the conservative justices to agree with your religious convictions. So, then you had to give up your religious “right” to control the most personal decisions of individuals whom you don’t know at all or with whom you have only a passing acquaintance. Yes, that can really hurt. That’s not a good reason to commit a sin, though. Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ would say that hatred toward others is a sin against Him. Is it worth losing your soul to satisfy your urge to hate homosexuals?
How do you think God is feeling about your use of His pulpit to spew your vile slurs, such as “depravity,” “degradation” and “perversion” in describing the civil rights (which have nothing to do with your religion) of taxpaying American citizens? Those taxpayers pick up the slack so your church can avoid paying taxes. I wonder if the IRS would like to know that you’re dipping your tax-exempt toes into politics. In fact, I’d say you’ve jumped in over your head.
It may be a little tough to worship God these days without questioning why He didn’t answer those millions and millions of prayers begging for a ruling against marriage equality. Do you think God has turned His back on you because of your contempt for His beloved (gay) children? God wouldn’t do that, would He? Oh, yes! It could happen. God works in mysterious ways.
Do you trust God to do His own work? Good! Then He doesn’t need your help. If He doesn’t like what’s happening, He can send a lightning strike or other event to fix it Himself. Without. Your. Help. Live your life as an example to others, not as an example of hate. Don’t be led around by others and their hatred of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans. Lead them to follow Jesus Christ’s teachings: love, peace, empathy, caring for others. That might help you to heal the hurt you felt when it seemed that God had deserted you.
In closing, may I point out that when two women or two men — or even one of each — get married, unless these individuals are part of your own family, you are not affected at all. Nobody can force you to participate in a same-sex marriage in any way. It’s, therefore, puzzling to me why you are interfering with the civil rights of others. What is it about “mind your own business” that you don’t understand?
Be careful now. Beloved is a term that is misplaced here because those practicing homosexuality are not beloved.
There are 8 places in the Bible that adresses the sin of homosexuality and all 8 are in an extremely negative light. 4 in the Old Testament and 4 in the new and it is also compared to bestiality. also, Jesus Christ Himself mentioned that marriage is between a man and a women.
First Genesis 19 and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. We can still see the effects of a righteous God pouring out his wrath and the remains of those places have been found on the lower SE corner of the Dead Sea a region that has never recovered from the fire and brimstone God rained down.
Then you have Leviticus and the fact that it is an abomination and that it was a capital offense meriting death.
Romans 1 is probably the most famous passage for it is that passage that it is not only called sin but is also a judicial act by where God gives people over to that lifestyle due to there refusal to stop rebelling against him. 1st Timothy, 1;8-10 where homosexuality is lumped together with a bevy of sinful behavior. Ist Corinthian 6:6-9 it is included in a list that Paul says those who practice these things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. And then Jude 7 where it is described as going after strange flesh.
2nd THessalonians 2 talks about a mystery of wickedness that people are attracted to and that because of man’s refusal to honor God and His Holiness He sends them a delusion to where what is wrong is now right. (Gay Marriage is a great example).
All that said God does not delight in destroying the wicked but it also says He hates the workers of iniquity. So He will do what is right and just. A practicing homosexual is going to burn eternally there is no two ways about that.
Men are agents of will so I am not going to interfere with what men decide to do. God can be God but I do not hesitate to tell them about the good news of Jesus Christ when the opportunity avails itself.
God will exercise judgement in His own time and in His own way. And while love is part of the message of Jesus it is important to remember that He was the forefront preacher of hell fire and damnation. Of the twelve times talked about in the New Testament 11 are by Jesus Christ Himself.
When as teacher of Bible these passages come up I will address them but I did not go out of my way to talk about them in church.
Yes, think about misplaced trust in prayers, etc:
(a) Old Ben Franklin had choice words about it.
(b) “In God we trust” and “One Nation under God” were imposed on us (by Eisenhower, Graham, McCarthy, etc) in the mid 1950’s – right after North Korea fought us to a lousy draw, and we haven’t won a war since then (unless you count Panama and Grenada as ‘wars’). Maybe God is unhappy about our taking the name in vain…
Thanks for bringing up “MIND YOUR (own) BUSINESS”. Most people don’t know that was one of the three mottoes the Founding Fathers ordered for our currency – twice, in 1776 and 1787. The others were “WE ARE ONE” (in English) and the word “FUGIO” (Latin for “I flee” next to the sun shining on a sundial, representing time – together, “TIME FLIES”. Look up ‘Fugio currency’.
And, oh, ‘Amazed’:
(a) the word “beloved” was used in Plato’s day (500 BCE?) as the term for the young male object of love of an older man.
(b) I’d like to see a bumper sticker that says
“HUH? WHAT ‘LOVE’? JESUS HATES ME! (Luke 19:27)”
That’s where Jesus, one of three ‘LESTAI’ (insurrectionists, punished by Roman crucifixion, rather than Jewish stoning for religious crimes) crucified that night, had said he wants me killed in front of him because I will not let him rule over me.