TX Lt. Gov. To AG: Provide Guidance on Clerks Who Refuse Gay Marriage On Religious Grounds
Austin, TX, June 26, 2015 – Today, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made an official opinion request to Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton on marriage and religious freedom. Lt. Gov. Patrick made the follow statement below:
“This past session, the legislature passed protections for members of the clergy who could be pressured into performing marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Similar First Amendment protections must be extended to others who might encounter similar pressure for same sex marriages. My request for opinion asks Attorney General Paxton to provide guidance to county clerks and Justices of the Peace who face this conflict of conscience.”
The Supreme Court of the United States is expected to rule today or Monday morning, June 29th, on the historic marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges, deciding the issue of same sex marriage for the states of Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan, and Kentucky and the decision could likely impact other states as well.
Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz issued the following statement:
“We commend Lt. Gov. Patrick on his leadership and timely concern for protecting the religious freedom of Texans. You don’t surrender your First Amendment rights just because you work for the government. All Texans should be free to believe and should not be forced by the government to violate their sincerely held religious belief that marriage is between one man and woman.”
Texas Values will address the media from the greater Austin area and will also have trusted local sources available on the ground in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio to address the media in those areas of the state.