Texas Attorney General says clerks can refuse same-sex marriage licenses

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Attorney General Ken Paxton has said Texan clerks can refuse to grant same-sex marriage licenses on religious grounds.

The Supreme Court ruling on Friday brought same-sex marriage to all 50 states, including Texas – whose politicians have been the some of the most vocally opposed to LGBT rights.

Attorney General Paxton wrote, according to Reuters: “County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

“Justices of the peace and judges similarly retain religious freedoms and may claim that the government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections.

“Numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defence of their rights.”

He also referred to the Supreme Court as an “activist” court.

Texas was the state that proposed the most anti-LGBT laws of all last year.

After the Supreme Court ruling, the Texas Governor Greg Abbott was quick to say that he would prioritise religious freedom over same-sex couples right to marriage.

He said: “Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, Texans’ fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected. No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage.”