Texas County Clerk Refuses to Issue Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

Supporters of gay marriage celebrate outside the US Supreme Court.Oliver Contreras/ZUMA

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Despite this morning’s landmark Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage across the country, at least one county clerk in Texas has refused to issue marriage licenses to two same-sex couples.

The Denton Record-Chronicle reports:

Denton County Clerk Juli Luke issued a statement that she would defer to guidance from Denton District Attorney Paul Johnson before issuing any marriage licenses in Denton County today to same sex couples.

“It appears this decision now places our great state in a position where state law contradicts federal law,” Luke wrote.

A sign posted at the clerk’s office stated that it would not issue licenses until it addressed “a vendor issue.” But county officials may also be waiting for guidance from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who criticized the high court’s ruling in a statement on Friday, calling it “a dilution of marriage as a societal institution.” The Austin American-Statesman reported that at least two other counties are holding off issuing licenses, but that three—Travis, Bexar, and Dallas—had already done so following the ruling.

Tod King and Casey Cavelier, who visited the Denton County clerk’s office on Friday morning to obtain a license after being together for 19 years, told the college newspaper North Texas Daily: “We were really excited this morning…We took a rainbow flag and hung it on the house. Then we came down here and got a little disappointed that they weren’t prepared for this.”

Other couples were disappointed as well:

Obstacles to same-sex marriage weren’t just remaining in Texas. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said in a statement on Friday that clerks would have to wait until the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals lifts a stay on a federal judge’s order to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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