Democrats are irate, demanding his resignation.
By Julieta Chiquillo | DALLAS NEWS:
Dallas Democrats are demanding the resignation of a Dallas County justice of the peace who says he won’t perform same-sex marriages despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling allowing gay couples to wed.
In his public Facebook page, Bill Metzger wrote this week that his Catholic faith prevents him from performing marriages other than “traditional” ones. The Republican JP cited Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s nonbinding legal opinion on the Supreme Court decision. In Paxton’s view, the government can’t force justices of the peace to conduct same-sex marriages over their religious objections.
The Dallas County Democratic Party issued a scathing statement accusing Metzger of failing to recognize the separation of church and state.
“By refusing to officiate same-sex marriages, Judge Bill Metzger is not only violating federal law, as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court, but he is also violating his Oath of Office,” party Chairwoman Carol Donovan said in the written statement. “Therefore, he must resign.”
Metzger didn’t reply to phone calls and an email seeking comment.
“It is clear that any justice of the peace in Texas can refuse to perform a nontraditional wedding when that wedding can be performed by others,” he wrote on Facebook. “My sincerely held religious belief keeps me from being forced to conduct anything but a traditional wedding as a judge per our attorney general.”
Metzger, based in Mesquite, was elected justice of the peace for Precinct 2, Place 2 in November 2014. He is also a member of the Dallas County Community College District board.
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