Texas Attorney General faces contempt hearing over gay marriage refusal

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The Attorney General of the US state of Texas faces a contempt hearing after instructing his state not to recognise same-sex marriages.

Last month the US Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a constitutional right for all American couples, same or opposite-sex.

Since, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has instructed clerks to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

US District Judge Orlando Garcia issued the order, for Paxton and interim director at the Department of State Health Services Kirk Cole, to attend the contempt hearing.

The order was issued in response to legal action filed by Texan John Stone-Hoskins, who asked the court to hold Paxton in contempt as the state would not amend his late spouse’s death certificate to reflect that the couple were married.

A Department of State Health Services official wrote, “Until the ruling is fully reviewed, we will not be able to know the impact, if any, on the process to file or amend death certificates. We will keep your documentation in a pending file and will advise you once a determination is made.”

The two will appear in court next week in order for Garcia to ascertain whether they went against a July ruling, in which the same judge said the state could not refuse to recognise same-sex marriages.

According to a spokesperson for the Attorney General, another legal case is required to find out if the Supreme Court’s ruling applies retroactively.