In defiance of the June 26 Supreme Court ruling that guarantees same-sex couples the right to wed nationwide, Paxton said that county clerks in Texas can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if they object on religious grounds.
Stated Paxton in a press release, “Texas must speak with one voice against this lawlessness, and act on multiple levels to further protect religious liberties for all Texans, but most immediately do anything we can to help our County Clerks and public officials who now are forced with defending their religious beliefs against the Court’s ruling.” He added, “I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.”
“Texas has a heroic history of defending truth and faith,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “We applaud Mr. Paxton’s stand and encourage Americans to let him know they stand with him, too. And we hope that his example will encourage other state leaders to consider the religious liberties of their county clerks, pastors and churches by opening their doors to hear ideas about legal provisions that will further protect religious liberties. There is no more important time in America to defend our freedoms and stand up for truth.”
In a recent Action Alert to its one million-plus friends and supporters, AFA asked Americans to sign a petition to thank Paxton for his stance for religious liberties.
Similarly, in a separate Action Alert, AFA is also asking Americans to urge Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood to follow Paxton’s lead in his state, after Grenada County 24-year circuit clerk Linda Barnette submitted her resignation, stating that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates her religious beliefs. Hood, however, told Mississippi News Now that once the Supreme Court ruling becomes effective in Mississippi, “circuit clerks will be required to issue same-sex marriage licenses.”
“In AFA’s home state of Mississippi, Jim Hood should be protecting the religious liberties of circuit clerks in the state, rather than forcing them to violate their faith,” Wildmon added. “Americans must urge him to defend and support circuit clerks who refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses if doing so violates their religious beliefs.”
AFA is making important resources available to help church pastors, leadership and other ministries to protect themselves, their churches and their religious liberties.
American Family Studios, a division of AFA, has produced a short documentary that provides legal analysis of the dangers posed to religious liberty by the recent Supreme Court ruling. Watch the trailer here. In addition, AFA is offering insights from AFA General Counsel Patrick Vaughn in a commentary titled “Will a gay marriage storm crush your church?,” which will help churches understand the dangers of taking no action on this important matter.
Alliance Defending Freedom has also produced a handbook, “A Legal Guide for Churches, Christian Schools, and Christian Ministries,” which walks churches through every step of adopting strong marriage policies, including sample resolutions and statements.