Texas Attorney General: County Clerks Don’t Have to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called Friday’s Supreme Court decision a “lawless ruling” and said state workers could use their religious objections in denying gay marriage.

The AP reported:

Texas’ conservative Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton called the Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry a “lawless ruling” and said state workers can cite their religious objections in denying marriage licenses.

He warned in a statement Sunday that any clerk, justice of the peace or other administrator who declines to issue a license to a same-sex couple could face litigation or a fine.

But in the nonbinding legal opinion requested by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Paxton says “numerous lawyers” stand ready to defend, free of charge, any public official refusing to grant one.

In its 5-4 opinion Friday, the Supreme Court did nothing to eliminate rights of religious liberty, Paxton’s opinion states.

“This newly minted federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage can and should peaceably coexist with longstanding constitutional and statutory rights, including the rights to free exercise of religion and freedom of speech,” the AG wrote.

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