Hood County clerk won't issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

A North Texas county clerk said she has no intention of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Hood County Clerk Katie Lang released a statement Tuesday saying that she agrees with Attorney General Ken Paxton's opinion on the Supreme Court's ruling.

"We find that although it fabricated a new constitutional right in 2015, the Supreme Court did not diminish, overrule, or call into question the First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion that formed the first freedom in the Bill of Rights in 1791. This newly invented federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage should peaceably coexist alongside longstanding constitutional and statutory rights, including the right to free exercise of religion and speech," she said.

Lang told the Texas Tribune that she was standing up for her religious liberty and that she believes "marriage is for one man and one woman because it did derive from the Bible."

She added that no same-sex couples in Hood County have tried to obtain a marriage license.

Paxton did issued a written opinion telling clerks with religious exemptions they don't have to issue the licenses. He also warned they could face fines or even lawsuits, but said he would have lawyers available at no-cost for those employees.

Lang released a statement that was posted on the Hood County website on Tuesday night. It says, in part, "The religious doctrines to which I adhere compel me to personally refrain from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Nonetheless, in addition to the county clerk offices in the several surrounding counties, as soon as the appropriate forms have been printed and supplied to my office, the County Clerk's Office of Hood County will have staff available and ready to issue same-sex marriage licenses."

A group called Hood County Equality is planning to protest in the Historic Granbury Square Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

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