Texas AG says state workers can refuse same-sex marriage

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry a "lawless ruling" and said state workers can cite their religious objections in denying marriage licenses.

He warned in a statement Sunday that any clerk, justice of the peace or other administrator who declines to issue a license to a same-sex couple could face litigation or a fine.

But he said "numerous lawyers" stand ready to defend, free of charge, any public official refusing to grant one.

Paxton's comments echoed those Friday of Gov. Greg Abbott who said Texans can't be forced by the court ruling to act contrary to their religious beliefs.

Paxton in his statement said the justices "weakened the rule of law" and "fabricated a new constitutional right."

Denton County Clerk Juli Luke was one official waiting on guidance from the attorney general. On Friday she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

But, the county is expected begin issuing the licenses Monday. Luke said she took an oath to uphold the law and her personal beliefs on marriage cannot prevent her from doing that.

Some couples who were turned away Friday had weddings on the courthouse steps anyway.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.