Christofacists and their self-prostituting allies in the Republican Party in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana have been dragging their feet and making excuses to not commence issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Yesterday, the 5th Circuit reaffirmed the binding nature of the Supreme Court's marriage ruling last week and made it clear that those who continue to hold out are doing so at their own legal risk. It was but one more defeat for Christofascists who want the special right to ignore court ruling and laws that they don't like. The Houston Chronicle looks at the 5th Circuit's ruling. Here are story highlights:
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, a final procedural move that closes the book on a long legal battle over Texas' ban on gay unions.One can only hope contempt of court orders (and threats of jail time) will be issued against Clerk's refusing to perform their legal duties.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday legalized gay marriage nationwide, but a separate legal challenge filed against Texas' ban still was pending in a federal appeals court. While most county clerks in Texas already were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, there was a small chance state officials could have chosen to exploit the case to shield the last few hold-outs refusing to comply.
In a June 30 brief to the court, however, Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller said in light of the Supreme Court ruling it should uphold a lower court's ruling striking down Texas' gay marriage ban.
On Wednesday, the court acknowledged the high court's ruling and told the district court judge to formally rule in favor of the four plaintiffs, a lesbian couple and a gay couple who had challenged Texas' ban on same-sex unions.
Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sunday issued guidance to clerks saying some could refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples if they believe their religion prohibits them from doing so. County attorneys and civil rights groups blasted that advice, saying it would be illegal for state employees required by law to issue licenses to discriminate based on sexual orientation, and have said it represents a need to remain vigilant in the fight for gay rights.