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‘America Bless God’: Texas officials protest Supreme Court decision by refusing to marry anyone

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Throughout Texas, officials are refusing to perform weddings altogether, to stave off discrimination lawsuits for turning away same-sex couples.

Across the state, local media outlets are reporting that justices of the peace are taking Attorney General Ken Paxton’s words to heart, citing “religious objections” to avoid marrying anyone at all.

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In a statement to KLTV, James Meredith, a justice of the peace in Smith County, writes, “I will no longer perform weddings after I conduct the few weddings I already had scheduled before the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.”

Colleague Paula Dyke in Titus County tells the local news outlet that, “A Justice of the Peace has no obligation under Texas law, or any other law, to perform wedding ceremonies. Marriage ceremonies are not a statutory duty. Upon announcement of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2014 [sic], I have decided to immediately stop performing ALL marriage ceremonies. God Bless America, and America Bless God!”

Theresa Goodness, chief deputy for the county clerk in Jefferson County, tells 12 News her office keeps a list of available wedding ceremony officiants for interested couples, and that three officials have asked that their names be taken off the list. Judges Ken Dollinger, Brad Burnett, and Ray Chesson, 12 News reports, refuse to perform weddings for anyone now — regardless of sexual orientation.

Other justices of the peace in Texas who have opted out of wedding duties in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to guarantee marriage rights regardless of a couple’s gender composition include: Jeff Monk of Johnson County, who professes to have a “strong faith in Christianity;” Jim Hanson of Lubbock County; and Don Engleking and Ted Duffield of Bell County.

In some parts of Texas, entire counties are just refusing to offer marriage licenses or publicly officiated weddings at all.

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The county clerk in Tom Green County has released a statement that no one in the office will be issuing marriage licenses anymore. “We are not currently issuing a marriage license to persons of the same sex at this time,” says the statement. Deaf Smith County has also announced a moratorium on wedding ceremonies.

State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) has written to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking the Justice Department monitor the widespread refusal by Texas officials to accept same-sex marriage as a matter of law.

In a letter dated June 29, Ellis expresses concern about potential civil rights violations:

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Ellis challenges the legal validity of “personal religious beliefs” as an excuse for public officials to effectively do whatever they want while on the public dime:

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The Texas Democrat closes with a plea for all Texans to receive “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”

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WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.

Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.

"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."

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John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police

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John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.

It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."

While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."

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Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent

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The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.

The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.

Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1267291138655956992

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