Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said that the definition marriage will be unchanged by the Supreme Court’s decision to disallow states from banning same-sex marriages.
“Today’s ruling by five Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court marks a radical departure from countless generations of societal law and tradition. The impact of this opinion on our society and the familial fabric of our nation will be profound,” Paxton said in a statement.
The night before the ruling by which the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, Paxton told county clerks to await his directive following the ruling. The move indicated that he was considering defying the ruling.
“To be clear — the law in the state of Texas is that marriage is one man and one woman, and the position of this office is that the United States Constitution clearly does not speak to any right to marriage other than one man and one woman and that the First Amendment clearly protects religious liberty and the right to believe in traditional marriage without facing discrimination,” Paxton said in another statement, according to the Texas Tribune.
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“But no court, no law, no rule, and no words will change the simple truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Nothing will change the importance of a mother and a father to the raising of a child,” Paxton said.
He went on to argue that the Supreme Court’s ruling was abusive against people of faith. “The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects our religious liberty and shields people of faith from such persecution, but those aspects of its protections have been denigrated by radicals, echoed by the media and an increasingly-activist judiciary,” he said in a statement on the Texas Attorney General website.
However, the headline of his statement said that the state would be “following the high court’s flawed ruling,” Talking Points Memo reports.
More than 25 gay couples began lining up less than two hours after the ruling in Travis County, Texas. Jacque Roberts and Carmelita Cabello were one of the first to get married.
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“I’m still shaking,” Roberts, 60, said. “I’ve been shaking since the order came down.”
The couple has been together for 31 years. “It was important for us to do this in Texas because Texas is our birth state,” Cabello, 68, said. “We wanted Texas to recognize us.”
The current forms in Harris County only list “man” and “woman” as applicants, so the county is holding off on wedding LGBT couples until Paxton's office sends new marriage licenses.
Other counties are just using the old form for now, and some are staying open late to handle the demand.
While the Supreme Court’s ruling mandated marriage equality in Texas, gay people still do not have many protections that they do in other states. Some states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, others just on sexual orientation. Some states have protection only for state employees, according to Vocativ.
21 states offer no protections, of which Texas is one. LGBT individuals in many states may continue to face legally sanctioned discrimination in housing, employment and even in restaurants. A landlord can evict a person on the basis of their sexual orientation, a boss can fire them, and a business can deny them service, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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