Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Texas allows local clerks to cross the ethical lines on "conflict of interest" in resisting issuing same-sex marriage licenses; the Katie Lang site

The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton (GOP), issued an opinion stating that local county clerks can deny marriage licenses that contradict their personal religious objections.  He will not defend them, but can provide pro bono attorneys who will.

And according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, at least one clerk in Granbury in Hood County, was taking him up.  Katie Lang said she would state her own policy on a personal website today, which I cannot yet find in search engines. 

Another clerk, in Denton County, however, said that her religious beliefs actually required her to uphold the law even if she disagreed with it, and would issue licenses. 
AC360 tried to interview Katie Lang on this video.
I have some distant experience with the issue of “public broadcast” speech when it could cause a conflict.  I actually transferred within a company and move to Minneapolis in 1997 right after publishing a book that dealt critically with the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy for gays in the military, because a branch of the company in Virginia specialized in selling to military officers.   I felt this was a “conflict of interest”, even though I didn’t make any underwriting decisions that could affect customers.  So I personally look askance at a public official’s putting expression her own opinions over her job under the law. 
Lang appears to be affiliated with the Hood County Tea Party.
Paxton did say that fines for non-compliance were possible, if not real likely.

 Update: July 3

Now Lang says she won't interfere with other employees offering gay marriage licenses.  Polarized demonstrations have taken place in Granbury, TX. 

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