Two Texas Judges Offer Gay Commitment Ceremonies
AUSTIN, Texas - An offer by two Texas judges to officiate same-sex "commitment" ceremonies at an Austin courthouse on Valentine’s Day has sparked the anger of GOP politicians who noted the Lone Star State doesn’t recognize gay marriage.
The offer by County Court-at-Law Judge John Lipscombe and his wife, visiting Judge Jan Breland, a retired county court-at-law judge, was part of a 25-year tradition to hold free courthouse weddings on Valentine’s Day, the Austin American-Statesman reported (http://bit.ly/1iZa70I ) Saturday. The pair issued a statement Thursday saying the event would include "free commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples."
No couples apparently took the judges up on the offer, but it still angered several Republican politicians, who said the state has a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples sponsored that constitutional amendment passed in 2005 and said, "it’s wrong for a sitting judge to hold a ceremony mocking our state constitution."
"It is the responsibility of our judges to uphold the rule of law, and every Texan should be upset with this clear attempt to use their trusted position as a seat for activism," said Staples, who is running for lieutenant governor.