A Texas judge ruled last week that a case against Williamson County could go forward after a job applicant claimed that commissioners had a religious test for constable jobs.
Robert Lloyd explained at a press conference that Williamson County asked about his views on marriage, abortion and religion during a 2013 interview for a job at the Williamson County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office.
“I was shocked,” Lloyd said, according to KVUE. “I was sick to my stomach when I left because I had never believed that things like this in government would go on.”
Video depositions obtained by KVUE show Williamson County Commissioner Lisa Birkman and other commissioners admitting that applicants were asked about abortion and marriage.
“I asked a question on their view on gay marriage to all the applicants for Precinct 3 Constable and their view on abortion,” Birkman says in her deposition.
Lloyd’s lawyer, Wayne Krause Yang, asserted at the press conference that the commissioners refused to hire applicants who were not Baptists.
“If you don’t go to the church that they go to, you can’t have a job as a public employee in Williamson County,” Yang noted.
At least two other applicants have come forward to say that they were also asked religious questions by the commissioners.
“You can see that they actually took notes about gay marriage and abortion responses and noted that in their political, religious opinion, that his response was not definitive,” Yang remarked. “So you can see that this actually affected his ability to be a constable.”
The county has reportedly spent $200,000 in defense of their hiring practices.
Watch the video below from KVUE.