Texas AG Ken Paxton encourages state employees to violate US Constitution

iBlazed

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Feb 27, 2014
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He called the SCOTUS decision "lawlessness", which is pretty ironic for someone who is actively encouraging lawlessness. What he doesn't realize is that the more he litigates, the less good he is doing for his beloved "religious freedom". I think the Justice Department needs to step in and nip this in the bud early on. Same goes for Mississippi and Louisiana. Is this really what Republicans want to do a year before a major election?

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas' conservative Republican 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 in the nonbinding legal opinion requested by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Paxton says "numerous lawyers" stand ready to defend, free of charge, any public official refusing to grant one.


In its 5-4 opinion Friday, the Supreme Court did nothing to eliminate rights of religious liberty, Paxton's opinion states.

"This newly minted federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage can and should peaceably coexist with longstanding constitutional and statutory rights, including the rights to free exercise of religion and freedom of speech," the AG wrote.

While many Republicans have said they disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling, officials in most states have said that they will abide by it. 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.

"Despite the Supreme Court's rulings, Texans' fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected," Abbott said Friday.

In his two-page memo, Abbott ordered agency leaders that no one in their ranks could take "adverse action" against someone acting on their religious beliefs, including "granting or denying benefits." That led to early confusion and questions over whether state agencies might deny health or retirement benefits to the spouses of gay employees.

Abbott spokesman John Wittman later issued a clarifying statement Friday, saying the directive doesn't order the denial of benefits to same-sex couples. He said it only "ensures that individuals doing business with the state cannot be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs."

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

Texas was not part of the case before the Supreme Court. A federal judge in 2013 ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional but declined to enforce the ruling while it was on appeal. Since Friday's ruling, a federal district court in Texas has prohibited Texas from enforcing state laws that define marriage as exclusively a union between one man and one woman.
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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As it appears to me, the SCOTUS decision is lawless.
Marriage is a social construct, that has and is changing over time. It is also not mentioned in the constitution, hence the states can pass laws that define marriage.

With this decision, the SCOTUS is effectively playing lawmaker and they are not supposed to do this.
 

impulse462

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Jun 3, 2009
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As it appears to me, the SCOTUS decision is lawless.
Marriage is a social construct, that has and is changing over time. It is also not mentioned in the constitution, hence the states can pass laws that define marriage.

With this decision, the SCOTUS is effectively playing lawmaker and they are not supposed to do this.
I don't think so. They just said that people can't ban same-sex marriage due to the 14th amendment. What do you mean they can't do that?
 

APlotdevice

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Sep 3, 2011
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As it appears to me, the SCOTUS decision is lawless.
Marriage is a social construct, that has and is changing over time. It is also not mentioned in the constitution, hence the states can pass laws that define marriage.

With this decision, the SCOTUS is effectively playing lawmaker and they are not supposed to do this.
The Supreme Court has done nothing it hasn't done a countless times before. They even voted on the issue of marriage before, 48 years ago with Virginia v Loving.

They're not playing lawmaker. They are determining what laws can or cannot be enforced under the Constitution.
 
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Renzatic

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Yes. That is a good point that was mentioned in another thread.
I think I have to look at this ruling closer to make up my mind.
Section 1 of the 14th Amendment.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Like iBlazed said, it doesn't have to list out your rights specifically, only acknowledge and grant to all those already accepted.
 
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Renzatic

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County clerks do not have a "religious liberty" right to their civil service jobs. If they object to performing the duties of their job they should get another job that comports with their beliefs.
They can gripe about it all they want. It's their right, and they're free to do so. In fact, I don't think this recent ruling absolutely requires churches to perform services for gay couples. But when they walk into the courthouse to apply for their marriage license, the state has to grant it, regardless of religious or personal beliefs.
 

Robisan

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Jan 19, 2014
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They can gripe about it all they want. It's their right, and they're free to do so. In fact, I don't think this recent ruling absolutely requires churches to perform services for gay couples. But when they walk into the courthouse to apply for their marriage license, the state has to grant it, regardless of religious or personal beliefs.
Correct on all points.
 

Renzatic

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there is no reason for the clerks to deny anything, they are not issuing RELIGIOUS certificates, they are handing out STATE certificates & those are meaningless to religious institutions.
OLOL AT THE CUBS!

You're right. Bringing religion into this argument is a moot point, since it has no bearing on the church whatsoever. Only the churchgoers who may or may not be offended by what their neighbors are getting up to.

But guess what? The Bible says to love thy neighbor, and there is no such thing as a right to not be offended.
 

jkcerda

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Jun 10, 2013
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OLOL AT THE CUBS!

You're right. Bringing religion into this argument is a moot point, since it has no bearing on the church whatsoever. Only the churchgoers who may or may not be offended by what their neighbors are getting up to.

But guess what? The Bible says to love thy neighbor, and there is no such thing as a right to not be offended.


I wanted to love my neighbor long time, but she filed a restraining order, FML.

anyways. remember Ted Haggard? Larry Craig?
 
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PracticalMac

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Jan 22, 2009
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As it appears to me, the SCOTUS decision is lawless.
Marriage is a social construct, that has and is changing over time. It is also not mentioned in the constitution, hence the states can pass laws that define marriage.

With this decision, the SCOTUS is effectively playing lawmaker and they are not supposed to do this.
While agree with premise the SCOTUS is legislating, the practical matter is they are doing something constitutional.

36 of 50 states now recognize same-sex marriage in the courts, but when couples legally married in one state go to a non-recognition that hits a bunch of issues. If you treat this like Interstate commerce it now become the jurisdiction of the Federal gov, and it can be argued a sound reason for it to be legal in all states.

After all, it only makes government recognize SSM, not the church.
 

ElectronGuru

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Sep 5, 2013
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After all, it only makes government recognize SSM, not the church.
True but it may explain some fears. From a religious perspective, it's the church that conducts marriages with the state just printing the document. This feels like the courts are interfering then with the conduct of the church. So what other conduct might they do the same. The slope is indeed slippery.
 

Renzatic

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True but it may explain some fears. From a religious perspective, it's the church that conducts marriages with the state just printing the document. This feels like the courts are interfering then with the conduct of the church. So what other conduct might they do the same. The slope is indeed slippery.
I'm sure the exact arguments were made about interracial marriages, and that didn't exactly destroy the sanctity of the institution then.
 

jkcerda

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Jun 10, 2013
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True but it may explain some fears. From a religious perspective, it's the church that conducts marriages with the state just printing the document. This feels like the courts are interfering then with the conduct of the church. So what other conduct might they do the same. The slope is indeed slippery.
if Christians had an issue with GOVT interference then they should have fought the GOVT over the term "marriage" .
 

ElectronGuru

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I'm sure the exact arguments were made about interracial marriages, and that didn't exactly destroy the sanctity of the institution then.
True but we are talking about fear. Still people are responsible for their own feelings.

if Christians had an issue with GOVT interference then they should have fought the GOVT over the term "marriage" .
Perhaps but marriage by any other name would smell just as threatening. The religious are experts at legitimacy (primacy by means of community recognition) and a major political opponent just got a big dose of legitimate.
 

PracticalMac

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I'm sure the exact arguments were made about interracial marriages, and that didn't exactly destroy the sanctity of the institution then.
and marriage across different religions, and poly marriage (Polyamory and Polygamy), and a few others.

The Catholic church absolute youngest age at which a person can marry is the age of puberty, as young as 12, yet there are state laws that set minimum as high as 18.
Does the church complain?

Out of the entire Bible text that could mean homosexual activity amount to about 4 lines.

Perhaps but marriage by any other name would smell just as threatening. The religious are experts at legitimacy (primacy by means of community recognition) and a major political opponent just got a big dose of legitimate.
Church trying vainly to be relevant in a changing world, and facing pushback from its flock.
Pope Francis has it right, the difficulty is convincing his subordinates, a slow processes.
 
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nebo1ss

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Jun 2, 2010
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They can gripe about it all they want. It's their right, and they're free to do so. In fact, I don't think this recent ruling absolutely requires churches to perform services for gay couples. But when they walk into the courthouse to apply for their marriage license, the state has to grant it, regardless of religious or personal beliefs.
I hope you are right on this point. There was a case in England recently where a family business that makes wedding cakes refused to make one for a gay couple's wedding because of their religious beliefs. They were taken to court and lost which I found really surprising.
 

jkcerda

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Jun 10, 2013
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True but we are talking about fear. Still people are responsible for their own feelings.



Perhaps but marriage by any other name would smell just as threatening. The religious are experts at legitimacy (primacy by means of community recognition) and a major political opponent just got a big dose of legitimate.
if there is no way to make them happy then screw them :eek:

this applies to many of them.