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Texas judge will perform same-sex weddings — but only if couples acknowledge his anti-LGBT beliefs

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A Texas judge concedes that the U.S. Supreme Court may force him to perform same-sex weddings – but he wants couples to know he doesn’t like it.

Judge James R. DePiazza, a justice of the peace in Denton, will do as little as possible to comply with a state order to marry same-sex couples and is requiring all couples to sign a waiver noting his objection to marriage equality, reported Towleroad.

“The result of this ruling has not changed Judge DePiazza’s personal convictions on marriage, but has changed the way he is now conducting ceremonies,” reads the form, which is available for download on the county website.

Denton County took three days to issue its first marriage license to a same-sex couples after the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, but officials blamed a software upgrade, reported WFAA-TV.

“It’s my personal belief that individuals who want to conduct a marriage ceremony understand my convictions,” DePiazza said. “If it was me, I would prefer to have someone who was in agreement with me.”

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The justice of the peace, a Republican who was first elected in 2007, now refuses to perform weddings outside normal business hour or on weekends, and he will not marry couples without an appointment.

He won’t allow photography or video recordings of the ceremony, which he promised would be merely a “brief formal declaration of civil marriage ceremony” that meets only the minimum standards required by state law.

DePiazza, a conservative Catholic, won’t even perform those basic functions unless couples sign the form stating his religious objection to the Supreme Court ruling.

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“While we may not necessarily agree with, we acknowledge Judge DePiazza’s position that he prefers to not conduct same-sex marriages and agree to not address the topic of same-sex marriages with Judge DePiazza before, during or after the ceremony,” the waiver reads.

The judge has so far avoided performing any wedding ceremonies since the June 26 ruling because he has been on vacation.

Legal experts aren’t sure the judge’s waiver form is constitutional.

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“I think it’s an interesting innovation in trying to hold your nose and do your job by making everybody else hold your nose as well,” said Katherine Franke, director of the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project at Columbia University’s law school. “It’s creative, but I don’t imagine it will stand up in court.”


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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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