Texas couple to sue after clerk refuses to issue marriage license

Jim Cato (left) and Joe Stapelton

GRANBURY, Texas (AP/KXAN) — A North Texas county clerk said her office will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples even though she says it’s against her beliefs.

Hood County Clerk Katie Lang, in a statement Wednesday on the county website, says her office will comply with the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. Justices last Friday legalized gay marriage nationwide.

But when Joe Stapelton and Jim Cato tried to get a license Thursday, they were escorted out.

“It’s turned to anger when you get kicked out of the county clerk’s office where you pay taxes,” said Cato. “Just because you want to ask about a marriage license, that’s wrong.”

Many county clerks in Texas immediately began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Lang initially said she believed it was morally and biblically incorrect to hand out marriage licenses to gay couples and said the Hood County office would not do so.

Lang’s updated statement says her religious beliefs prevent her from issuing such licenses, but she says her office will comply with the law and do so. She said it could take up to three weeks to get the correct paperwork, according to KXAS.

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