AUSTIN – Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick requested an opinion from the Texas Attorney General in anticipation of a decision by the United States Supreme Court regarding same sex marriage:
“In Texas, the law of the land defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This principle was adopted by over 76 percent of Texas voters in 2005. However, that definition could be struck down or altered by our nation’s highest court.
“If that should happen, county clerks and Justices of the Peace could be forced to subjugate their sincerely held religious beliefs. The practical reality of this conflict will occur throughout the state.
“This past session, the legislature passed protections for members of the clergy who could be pressured into performing marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Similar First Amendment protections must be extended to others who might encounter similar pressure for same sex marriages.
“My request for opinion asks Attorney General Paxton to provide guidance to county clerks and Justices of the Peace who face this conflict of conscience.”