Potter & Randall County Clerks Preparing To Issue Same Sex Marriage Licenses
The Supreme Court decided last week that same sex marriage was protected by the 14th Amendment.
The Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton wasted no time in giving Texas county clerks reasons to deny granting marriage licenses to same sex couples. First a lack of gender neutral forms was cited as a reason to deny the request. Religious objections on behalf of the clerk or the judge was also given as a way to justify denying same sex couples a marriage license or marriage ceremony.
Many courts in Texas have ignored the Attorney General's suggestions and begun granting marriage licenses. Those cities granting the license may soon include Amarillo.
According to Potter County Clerk Julie Smith she received between 30-40 telephone inquiry's Friday in the aftermath of the decision. Potter County is working on getting the new forms and plans to be in compliance with the ruling.
Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner has gone on record to state she has no objections to performing the wedding ceremony for same sex couples. She asserts it's same sex couples constitutional right to enter into marriage and she if ready to perform the ceremony.
The Attorney General also said in his initial statement reacting to the decision that lawyers are ready to assist any clerk defending their religious belief. Potter County Attorneys say they most likely would represent non-compliant clerks if they object to performing the ceremony on religious grounds and the cost would be paid by the county.
Potter County is planning to grant licenses as soon as possible. Randall County clerks have also said they would follow the Supreme Courts ruling and are working with their forms vendor to get updated, gender neutral forms.