Texas County Clerk becomes Focus of Movement to Refuse Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Monday, July 06, 2015
Hood County Clerk Katie Lang (photo: Hood County)

A clerk in a small Texas county has found that her attempt to weasel out of issuing a marriage license to a gay couple has put her office in the crosshairs of the media and the justice system.


Katie Lang, the clerk of Hood County, said after the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all states that her office wouldn’t issue licenses to such couples. Lang later walked that back a bit, saying that she would “personally refrain” from doing so, but that others in her office would. But Hood County residents Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton, who have been together 27 years, still can’t get a marriage license from Lang’s office.


Her excuse? She says it will take three weeks to acquire the necessary forms for the licenses. When it was pointed out that more than 200 other Texas counties are issuing the licenses from forms readily available over the Internet, Lang stood firm.


Now, Cato and Stapleton say they’ll sue Lang. “Either our clients get a marriage license [Thursday], or Hood County gets a lawsuit Monday,” Austin Kaplan, one of the couple’s attorneys, said according to the Dallas Morning News. “This is just a pretext to deny them of their constitutional right to get married. This is a humiliation. And this is what the Supreme Court says can’t happen anymore.”


Katie Lang is now facing her 15 minutes of fame.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Lawsuit Threatened in Hood County Over Clerk’s Refusal to Issue Marriage License (by Charles Kuffner, Houston Chronicle)

Attorneys to Sue Hood County After Clerk Refused to Issue Marriage License to Same-Sex Couple (by Robert Wilonsky, Dallas Morning News)

Gay Marriage Issue Roils Texas Town (by David Lee, Courthouse News Service)

States where Politicians have Vowed to Continue Fighting Same-Sex Marriage (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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