Texas judge will marry gays, but only if they acknowledge he doesn’t like them
A Texas judge says he is willing to marry gay couples, as long as they sign a waiver acknowledging that he doesn’t like them or want to.
Last month, the Supreme Court found that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, and that all 50 US states must recognise and perform same-sex weddings.
Rather than explicitly refuse to perform same-sex weddings – which could see him slapped with a lawsuit – a justice in Denton, Texas, has come up with a novel way to make his disagreement clear.
Judge James R DePiazza now forces all same-sex couples to sign a waiver, that says: “We acknowledge Judge DePiazza’s position that he prefers to not conduct same-sex marriages and agree to not address the topic of same-sex marriages with Judge DePiazza before, during or after the ceremony.”
It explains: “The result of this ruling has not changed Judge DePiazza’s personal convictions on marriage, but has changed the way he is now conducting ceremonies. Judge DePiazza will conduct a brief formal declaration of civil marriage ceremony.
“The ceremony will strictly be a witnessing to the individuals acknowledgement that they want to be married under the laws of this State and be bound to the marriage laws in the State of Texas.
“A declaration will be read by Judge DePiazza that both parties respond with affirmation. Judge DePiazza prefers to NOT conduct same-sex ceremonies, but will not decline anyone who chooses to schedule with him.”
However, the waiver form is likely to be just as unconstitutional as more blatant forms of discrimination.
Katherine Franke of Columbia University’s law school told Raw Story: “I think it’s an interesting innovation in trying to hold your nose and do your job by making everybody else hold your nose as well… it’s creative, but I don’t imagine it will stand up in court.”