“I’m William Wallace, and the rest of you will be spared. Go back to England and tell them… Scotland is free!” – William Wallace, Braveheart
No offense to unwed Anglicans, the ones who are out of high school anyway, but I don’t feel like feeding them today. So, I don’t think I’ll be making ham sandwiches for those guys.
NBC is reporting that Tonya Parker, a Dallas-area judge and lesbian, is refusing to perform marriages in court for heterosexuals. Now, I’m no expert on Texas law, but I will take judge Parker at her word. First, it is not legal for homosexuals to marry in Texas (her words, not mine, but presumably correct). Second, according to Parker, she is not obligated to perform marriages, though she has the privilege to do so. From her statement:
faithfully and fully perform all of my duties as the Presiding Judge of the 116th Civil District Court, where it is my honor to serve the citizens of Dallas County and the parties who have matters before the Court.
Performing marriage ceremonies is not a duty that I have as the Presiding Judge of a civil district court. It is a right and privilege invested in me under the Family Code. I choose not to exercise it, as many other Judges do not exercise it. Because it is not part of our duties, some Judges even charge a fee to perform the ceremonies.
I do not, and would never, impede any person’s right to get married. In fact, when people wander into my courtroom, usually while I am presiding over other matters, I direct them to the Judges in the courthouse who do perform marriage ceremonies. If my deputy is not busy, I will even ask him to escort or help these individuals find another Judge who performs the ceremonies. I do this because I believe in the right of people to marry and pursue happiness. [emphasis added]
I have no beef here. It’s not part of her job. She has the power to do marriages, but not the obligation. Just as I have the power to feed those poor Anglicans who have high school degrees, but no husband or wife with which to share a meal … but it refuse. Today anyway.
One hopes, hopes, hopes that judge Parker would feel the same if the situation were reversed. I mean, suppose that gay marriage were legal in Texas, but there were judges who, for religious purposes, refused to perform them. Would judge Parker support their objection? You know, on the basis of freedom, or protest, or non-obligation? I hope so.
In fact, I would hope that judge Parker and all supporters of gay marriage would support freedom for all. I mean, suppose, for just a second that a photographer (not a judge mind you, a photographer, who takes pictures for a living) refuses to work at a gay wedding because he has moral objections? Does he have the right to refuse, or can he be sued for discrimination and lose? No word on where judge Parker stands on that decision.