Texas Supreme Court rules in favor of Christian judge who refuses to officiate same-sex weddings on religious grounds
07/10/2024 // Kevin Hughes // Views

The Supreme Court of Texas has ruled in favor of a judge who refuses to officiate same-sex weddings because doing so would be in opposition to her faith.

The court ruled in favor of McLennan County Justice of the Peace in Waco Dianne Hensley, who had incurred a public reprimand and a warning of possible future sanctions from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for refusing to perform same-sex weddings on religious grounds. (Related: Ermold v. Davis case could overturn Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling.)

The Commission accused Hensley of violating judicial impartiality and discriminating against couples based on their sexual orientation. In response, Hensley filed a lawsuit against the Commission, which the Texas Supreme Court voted eight in favor and one against to proceed.

"We hold that, apart from one declaratory request against the Commission, petitioner's suit is not barred by her decision not to appeal the Commission's Public Warning or by sovereign immunity," the majority decision, written by Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, stated. "Accordingly, we affirm the part of the court of appeals' judgment dismissing the one declaratory request for lack of jurisdiction, reverse the remainder of the judgment, and remand to the court of appeals to address the remaining issues on appeal."

Refusal to officiate same-sex weddings is protected under Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Hensley, represented by attorneys from Mitchell Law LLP and the First Liberty Institute, argued that her refusal to officiate same-sex weddings is protected under the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act and an exercise of her religious beliefs.

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She maintains that refusing to officiate such weddings does not hinder her ability to carry out her judicial duties impartially.

Hensley has also disputed the charge of violating impartiality, claiming that she is not required to officiate over weddings and that the issue does not affect the performance of judicial duties.

After the Commission released a public warning in January 2019, Hensley continued to refuse to officiate, transferring those seeking a same-sex wedding to other venues and officiants, and sought a court order to prevent future sanctions.

The Texas court's majority opinion asserted that judges are not required to officiate at weddings as part of their judicial tasks and that Hensley's actions did not indicate bias or prejudice.

Justice Jimmy Blacklock criticized the Commission's move against Hensley. "By going out of its way to take sides in a contentious moral and political debate about conflicts between the right to same-sex marriage created by Obergefell and the rights of religious dissenters long enshrined in our founding documents – an ongoing debate that Obergefell itself acknowledged would continue – the Commission has done far more, in the eyes of many Texans, to undermine public confidence in Texas' judicial branch than a lone justice of the peace in Waco ever could," he stated.

"Judge Hensley's way of reconciling her religious beliefs while meeting the needs of her community is not only legal but should stand as a model for public officials across Texas. This is a great victory for Judge Hensley and renews her opportunity to seek justice under the religious liberty protections of the law," said Hiram Sasser, executive general counsel for First Liberty Institute that represented Hensley in court, who praised the ruling as a victory for religious liberty.

Hensley also expressed gratitude for the favorable ruling. "I am truly grateful to the Supreme Court for giving me the opportunity to continue to stand for religious liberty and the rule of law," she said.

Follow GayMafia.news for more news about same-sex marriage in America.

Watch the video below arguing that same-sex marriage is a crime against humanity.

This video is from the I AM A PERSON channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Survey: Support for same-sex marriage in America drops for the first time since 2015.

Pope Francis allows priests to bless same-sex couples – as long as it doesn’t resemble an actual marriage ceremony.

Panama Supreme Court rejects legalization of same-sex 'marriage,' says it's not a 'human right.'

Sources include:


FirstLiberty.org [PDF]



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