Dallas County Justice of the Peace Bill Metzger took to his Facebook page to tell anyone who would listen that he will not be performing same-sex marriages. This, by the way, is in defiance of Obergefell vs. Hodges, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage.
“Because of my faith in God as a devout Catholic, I will only be conducting traditional marriages,” he said on his Facebook page. To justify his refusal, he cites a non-binding opinion that was issued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, which says:
Justices of the peace retain religious freedoms, and may claim that the government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections.
“It is clear that any Justice of the Peace in Texas can refuse to perform a non-traditional wedding when that wedding can be performed by others. My sincerely held religious belief keeps me from being forced to conduct anything but a traditional wedding as a Judge per our Attorney General,” Metzger said in the post.
The problem is — this is likely untrue.
“You don’t have to do any marriages, nobody can compel you to do a marriage,” retired Dallas County District Judge John Cruezot told 8 News. “However, once you take on one set of individuals, you have to do it for everyone.”
As a reminder, Obergefell vs. Hodges made gay marriage a fundamental right. The highest court requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex.
Not surprisingly, on Friday afternoon, Democrats in Texas were calling for Metzger to resign.