What Do You Think About The Way Texas Is "Interpreting" Constitutional Decisions?

The recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage stated that gay couples have the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. Sounds clear enough. But the Texas Attorney General has announced that county clerks can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. He stated that the decision was flawed and lawless, and that even so, it did not overrule the First Amendment right to freedom of religion. "Justices of the peace and judges similarly retain religious freedoms and may claim that the government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections."

He went on to say that the state will support those refusals including providing lawyers for the clerks who are sued. Sounds to me like Texas may go bankrupt paying for a lot of lawsuits.

What are your thoughts, not on gay marriage, but on the announcement that they can refuse to perform official government functions, such as issuing licenses, based on their personal religious beliefs, which have no place in government proceedings?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • If we should follow the logic of the Texas Attorney General, then soldier can refuse to bomb anyone they have a religious objections bombing. Or the police can refuse arresting they feel is not guilty of any crime according to there personal consciousness.

    I'll say right to freedom of religion, means the right to personally and privately practise any religion you want, however as a employee of a company or the state, you need to follow the instructions of you boos at work or loose your job.

    It's not the personal political or religious choice of a civil servant, that have to be practise towards citizens, but the states political choices. They do not represent themselves as private individuals, and if they are conscientious objectors to this, then they need to find another job more suited to their conscientious.

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    • Actually soldiers CAN refuse to bomb anyone. They are called conscientious objectors. And police can refuse to make an arrest, they have jurisdiction to make judgment calls like that.

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    • The laws clearly state that military personnel must carry out all lawful orders of their superiors. What gets dicey is the term "legal orders". If someone refuses orders and claims that they were not legal orders, it falls upon the individual to prove they were not legal, which would be hard to do on orders to fight the enemy. However, orders to kill a prisoner of war would usually be illegal. There were cases during the Viet Nam War that were later judged to be massacres that were illegal. But the general killing while fighting the enemy is legal.

    • Indeed, a Muslim US soldier cannot refuse to, let's say bomb ISIS, based on his personal consciousness.

      But according to the logic of the Texas Attorney General, he can and should based on the "First Amendment right to freedom of religion".

      Obviously Texas Attorney General is wrong.

What Girls Said 4

  • Texas isn't the only state fighting against the Supreme Court's ruling. Louisiana and Mississippi are also refusing to recognize these marriages and appealing the decisions. As far as officials denying to perform said marriages, they have every right to refuse based on their religious beliefs. You can't force them to go against these beliefs. I am not homosexual, but I have friends and family who are. I accept them unconditionally as people and I do not judge their being homosexual. If I were a priest, pastor, minister, judge, justice of the peace, etc, I would not perform a marriage between two people of the same sex. It goes against my beliefs. I will support those that I know and others in their choices to be a same sex family, but I will not be party to it. The law can't make me. It's my religious freedom. I am not perfect and I do sin. I am responsible for those sins and nobody else. Does that make me a hypocrite? No. I am not judging anyone else for what I view as not something that should be done while committing a different wrong. My wrongs or sins are my personal crosses to bear and deal with. Why should I be forced to take on another's cross? Now, I do realize that not everyone views this as a sin. To each his own and that's how it should be in regards to many many things in life. We need to stop worrying about what others are doing with their lives and focus more on ourselves. This is a big problem with our world. Too many judgmental pricks trying to control other people.

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    • Taking that apart into two pieces... First, the issuance of marriage licenses is part of the job description of the clerk. The license is not the marriage. Since issuing the license is the duty of the clerk, refusal to do his or her job is grounds for termination. The religious beliefs of the individual in a government job have to be neutral. Your argument is the same used by many long ago in refusing marriage licenses to blacks, and then to mixed couples. And the argument did not hold up. If you do not want to do your job, quit. The second part is the marriage itself. The religious institutions are not the government. So pastors, ministers, whatever, can follow the dictates of their religious beliefs. But judges, justices of the peace, etc. are public officials and again it falls under the duties of their office. The marriage in a civil ceremony is not a religious one, and the official is a government employee, not a religious official. If they can't do their job, they can quit.

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    • I don't know what you are reading. "People say they want equality, but they really don't. This is not equality. This is tipping the scales entirely in their favor while others lose their rights." How is it that gays getting the right to marry as straights do, tipping the scales in their favor? How is it causing any loss of rights for you?

    • You misinterpret what I said. It was actually a blanket statement regarding people in general and what everyone is trying to do with different issues. The scale tipping and loss of rights plays in when a person is forced to go against their religious beliefs by participating in the joining of the two together. Or when people like those overseas who are killing those who believe in God just because it's not what they believe. Or when people try to remove history because they want to believe it is racist instead of learning the truth about what the Civil War was actually about.

  • Honestly it was one of my first thoughts when the decision came down that Texas was going to outright refuse to go along with it. I was hoping maybe with Perry gone Texas would quit thumbing its nose at the Fed, but no.

    The Judicial branch can only make the decisions it is up to the executive branch to enforce them...
    Marriage licenses are getting issued in Texas to same sex couples but I'm sure some crazy town in East Texas will refuse to issue one.

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  • I don't love what the supreme court did but I think this is a weak defense at most. Just a stupid waste of time and money.

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  • Gosh who cares? I'm so sick of hearing this crap. If gay people want to get married it's fine. If someone wants to practice their religious freedoms that's fine too.

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What Guys Said 6

  • The federal government really doesn't have as much power over they states as people think. Mostly the government controls states by refusing tax money to the state if the state doesn't comply. Which is why the drinking age is 21 in most states, because the federal government won't give the state money to help fix roads and bridges otherwise. Beyond that it would take military action to force a state to comply, and that would be political suicide.

    This is also why states are getting away with legalizing pot, even though it is still against federal law. The federal government is not set up to enforce its own laws. Therefore any law a state is strongly against a federal law simply will ignore that law, much like how presidents have ignored the supreme court in the past with no legal consequence. When push comes to shove the supreme court simply doesn't have the power to enforce anything they say. They have to hope someone else will enforce it for them.

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  • Texas being the only state that can secceed from the union at any time doesn't get pushed around much by the feds. It is a very conservative state that has the highest death sentences carried out. Not many open gays would stay in Texas anyway because of the overwhelming anti gay attitude most Texans have. If Texas did seƧceed they'd take with them General Dynamics, Texas Instruments, NASA, oil, beef and a lot more. I remember many years ago the feds were cracking down on Texas for not doing more to stop speeding. The feds said they'd stop highway funding if Texas didn't start doing more. Texas replied if they did that, that Texas would raise taxes on government installations. The feds blinked and that was that

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    • "Texas being the only state that can secceed from the union at any time..." Last time they tried to secede they had several other states with them. Did you happen to notice how that turned out? And did you happen to know that NASA is part of the federal government? You don't just take them with you. And the companies would jump ship from Texas before taking on the US government.

      I don't remember ever hearing what you are talking about as to Texas doing more on speeding. I do remember that Montana was forced to put speed limits in place and then congress changed the law in 1995. After that Montana dropped speed limits and deaths spiked in 1997. So the Montana Supreme Court ruled Montana's speed laws unconstitutional and speed limits were put back in.

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    • Where in the world do you get that "They can legally secceed.."? And please, it is "secede". No state can legally secede. As for the US not being able to do anything about it, it would likely be the shortest secession of any state, group, whatever from any government.

    • That was a condition Texas made when they joined the US. However after the civil war, they law was changed so that no state can legally secede. Not that it matters. The government has a history of breaking its own laws to suit their needs. Regardless of what the law says, it would be about which side has the strongest military, and not about how the law is written.

  • First let me point out that Ken Paxton is a boob. As Attorney General, his job is to enforce the law, not interpret it. The reason we have separation of church and state is so that no one person or group’s views can be made into law. The Supreme Court handed down a decision that they though had the most legal merit and was best overall in terms of social outcomes. If Paxton takes issue with that, he can bring a suit or seek an injunction. If he feels he cannot, in good conscience, enforce the laws of the land, then the proper thing to do is resign. When he took an oath of office, he did not “swear to uphold (as long as it agrees with my religious views).”

    And you are correct. Texas will face manifold law suits that they will untimately lose. Moreover, if they do not observe the federal mandate to legalize gay marriage, they will eventually lose a substantial portion of their federal funding.

    The threat to refuse cooperation is a straw dog. In the long run, they will be forced to capitulate.

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  • It's their right to do it if they want -shrugs- in truth the federal government has never really had any true power there to begin with, Texans don't fuck around, and if they feel pushed or that you are infringing on their rights in any way they will push back hard.

    As stated by @reptocarl

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    • See my reply, as stated to @reptocarl

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    • The government would be nothing without the states, the amendments and constitution give the states the individual power to govern themselves to a point, Texas as the right to do what they please within the state and within the bounds of the constitution and the amendments.

    • The civil rights fall under the protection of the federal government. States do not have any right to interfere with the rights guaranteed under the federal constitution. And the court has just determined that this issue is a civil rights issue. As for the right of a state to do as it wishes within the state, try reading a history of the 60's when southern states decided they had a right to separate blacks from whites in the schools. they ended up having uninvited military "guests" and soon saw the error of their ways.

  • Alabama will 90% likely do same as Texas.
    I hate to say it, but in the south, people are more close minded bout certain things.
    But since the Supreme Court made the law, Texas will soon have to oblige. It can't ignore a Federal Law. But the Supreme Court did say that judges don't have to marry the ciuple, churches are exempt I know for sure. But for courts, they have to issue them.

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    • I agree with your look at what will have to happen. But even though some people say that the court is "making" a new law, what they did was their job of taking a case that was brought before them and making a decision on the constitutionality of the laws addressed. No law was made, but it was decided that any laws that limit the equal rights of gays in the case of marriage are unconstitutional and therefore void.

  • I interpret it to mean what I want it to mean and you can interpret that however you like.

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