Paxton Gets Behind Abbott on Gay Discrimination
With all deliberate speed, Governor Greg Abbott on June 26 told county clerks and other officials who can issue marriage licenses that it's OK not to issue licenses, as long as you say you have a "religious" objection. And now Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued an opinion supporting Abbott.
Paxton's opinion states that it's OK for an individual clerk to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses, as long as the couple seeking the license has alternative means — i.e., as long as another employee of the clerk's office will do it. But what if no one in the county clerk's office wants to do it? That pits the clerks' constitutional rights against the couples' right to obtain a marriage license. So what happens, then, in this very real scenario? Well, "such a factually specific inquiry is beyond the scope of what this opinion can answer."
Thanks, K-Dog. That's a big help.
It's embarrassing that state officials are even having to address this issue. For one thing, why would a Supreme Court decision strip anyone else of Constitutional rights? For another thing, why would Abbott automatically assume that civil servants who issue marriage licenses are worried about their religious liberty? Why not assume that these folks, who quietly do their jobs day-in, day-out without much thanks or notice, are actually professionals and not bigots?
Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns
TicketsSun., Oct. 15, 12:00pm
TicketsSat., Oct. 21, 7:00pm
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
TicketsSun., Nov. 5, 12:00pm
Houston Texans vs. Arizona Cardinals
TicketsSun., Nov. 19, 12:00pm
Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers
TicketsSun., Dec. 10, 12:00pm
Paxton's opinion also points out a clause in the Texas Family Code that bars officials from discriminating on the basis of race, religion, or national origin. We'd like if Abbott sought an opinion about those elements, though — why wouldn't religious objection apply to all varieties of hate?
It's fantastic that two high officials can quickly declare that bigotry needs protection. It would be even better if they declared the same for common sense.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.