The AG for the State of Texas has announced that county clerks would not have to issue gay wedding licences if it violates their religious beliefs.
This is just stupid. Country clerks MUST perform their jobs, including issuing licences for marriages to whoever the LAW permits. They have exactly zero personal say in it. The Texas AG is advocating precisely the sort of Bureaucratic tyranny that conservatives should be against 100%. If a clerk no longer wants to participate in performing the job they were hired to do, THEY SHOULD QUIT. Period. I am sure there are plenty of other people who would like to have that job and will do everything on their task list without regard to their personal feelings on the subject.
Personally, I am getting personally fed up with the “religious exemption” argument. In every case I see it used, it turns out to just a ddge for people who don’t want to do what the law requires, but they think it is OK if the law makes other people do it.
Example 1: Catholic church demanding nation wide public health care insurance scheme (Obamacare), but also demand to be exempt from it.
Example 2: Scientologists demanding to be treated like a religion for purposes of taxation when they are in reality a criminal organization that is widely involved in fraud, deceptive commercial practices, tax evasion and other bad things.
Example 3: People wanting religious expemptions from mandatory public school attendence, but it is OK for YOUR kids. And there is no provision in those laws for people to simply dsecide, based on available evidence and good sense that the public school option is inferior to other options for educating their children.
Eample 4: Same for Vaccinations. Appeals to the religious exemption, instead of reasonable people simply wanting to make a rational medical choice.
If a law is good, everyone should bear it’s weight equally. Everyone. If the exceptions want to be exceptions, then they should denounce the law in its entirety and permit everyone to be exceptions. That is what “equal protection under the law” looks like.
The only legally correct position the AG of Texas should take on this issue is to instruct country clerks and licence issuing agencies that they should continue to execute the existing statutes until they are replaced since the AG nor SCOTUS has the authority to usurp the Texas legeslature in this matter. Hopefully, the Texas legislature will approve new statutes regarding the issuance of marriage licences “soon”. The only other alternative is to issue NO licences until the matter is resolved. Clerks have no legal authority to make shit up as they go along according to their own whims. Neither does the AG.