One Texas-based judge is making her stance on her state's refusal to grant same-sex couples the right to wed publicly known by nixing all marriage ceremonies in her courtroom.
Dallas County Judge Tonya Parker, who is openly gay and a Democrat, said her decision was based simply on equality. "I do not perform them because it is not an equal application of the law. Period," she told the Dallas Voice.
Believed to be the first openly LGBT African-American elected official in the state’s history, Parker clarified her stance at this week's Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meeting. Rather than turning couples away coldly, she passes marriage ceremonies on to other judges so they can be completed, NBCDFW.com is reporting.
"I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state," she explained. "So I usually will offer them something along the lines of 'I'm sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people.' And it’s kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can’t be performed for me, so I'm not going to do it."