Lesbian judge refuses to wed couples until same sex marriage legalized

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, February 23, 2012 22:06 EDT
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Judge Tonya Parker official photo
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An openly-gay judge in Texas is refusing to wed opposite sex couples until same sex couples can be married as well.

“I do not perform them because it is not an equal application of the law. Period,” Judge Tonya Parker said.

Parker, the first openly LGBT African-American elected official in the state’s history, explained at a recent Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meeting why she refused to perform marriages.

“I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state because I feel like I have to tell them why I’m turning them away,” she said. “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.”

In a statement released to the media Thursday, Parker further explained that although she has the power to marry couples, it is not an official duty of her position as the Presiding Judge of a civil district court. She direct couples that come to the courtroom seeking to wed to other judges who do perform marriage ceremonies.

Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2005 that defined marriage as a union solely between one man and one woman.

Last week, three LGBT activists in Austin allowed themselves to be arrested during an annual marriage equality protest at the Travis County Clerk’s office.

Watch video, courtesy of the Dallas Voice, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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