Gay Judge Won't Perform Marriages for Straight Couples

Tonya Parker refuses to perform straight-couple marriages because Texas does not allow same-sex marriage.

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A gay Texas judge is refusing to conduct marriage ceremonies for straight couples, according to the Daily News. The judge, Tonya Parker, who is an African-American lesbian, said that she will not officiate any straight-couple marriages until gays and lesbians have the same rights in her state. Same-sex marriage is not legal in Texas.

"I do not perform them because it is not an equal application of the law. Period," she said, according to the Dallas Voice.

According to Chapter 3 of the Texas Family Code, a county judge is among the judges and religious leaders allowed to perform marriages. They may conduct the ceremony. The term "may" is defined in the terminology section of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct as a term that "denotes permissible discretion or, depending on the context, refers to action that is not covered by specific proscriptions."

At a monthly meeting for the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, Parker spoke about her decision. "I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage equality in the state because I feel like I have to tell them why I'm turning them away," she told the Dallas Voice.

"So I usually will offer them something along the lines of, 'I'm sorry. I don't perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn't apply to another group of people.

"And it's kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can't be performed for me, so I'm not going to do it," she said.

Read more at the Daily News.

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