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Dallas Justice of the Peace Refuses to Marry Same-Sex Couples

Risking a potentially costly legal challenge, Dallas County Justice of the Peace Bill Metzger has stated that he will not permit any same-sex couple to be married in his precinct. Citing his religious convictions against the practice of same-sex marriage, Metzger said that his refusal is justified according to an interpretation of state law issued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in which he stated that state workers can deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples (http://goo.gl/6c97LI).

According to Metzger, no same-sex couple has challenged the Justice of the Peace’s prohibition yet, but Judge Clay Jenkins, also of Dallas County, has expressed his concern that the decision could result in expensive litigation. Jenkins complained that “Dallas County taxpayers should not have to provide them with a free lawyer when they get sued, and that still doesn’t take care of the concern that they may get the county sued.” (http://goo.gl/23Y6Bb).

For more information on same-sex marriage in the state of Texas, the Texas Lawyer has provided an assessment of how the recent Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges has affected same-sex couples’ rights.

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