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  JUDGE NOT

TX Judge Won’t Perform Weddings Till Gays And Lesbians Can Get Hitched

Tired of being a justice of the peace and never a bride, Judge Tonya Parker (right) has announced she’ll no longer perform any marriage ceremonies until same-sex nuptials are legal in her home state of Texas.

At a meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas last week, Parker—who is openly gay—explained it was “oxymoronic” for her to officiate over hetero ceremonies.

“I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality and until it does, I’m not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people,” Parker said in a video of the Tuesday discussion. “And it’s kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can’t be performed for me, so I’m not going to do it.”

But don’t think Parker has anything against straight marriage. She said in a statement:

“I do not, and would never, impede any person’s right to get married,” Parker wrote. “In fact, when people wander into my courtroom, usually while I am presiding over other matters, I direct them to the judges in the courthouse who do perform marriage ceremonies… I do this because I believe in the right of people to marry and pursue happiness.”

We salute Parker’s stance but she’s got to be making some enemies in the Lone Star State, which doesn’t recognize any sort of same-sex union. In fact a Republican candidate for senate there made digs his opponent, former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, for participating in a gay pride parade.

In a recent debate, former pro footballer Craig James said, “when a mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride, that’s a statement – and it’s not a statement I agree with…  I think right now in this country, our moral fiber is sliding down a slope that is going to be hard to stop if we don’t stand up with leaders who don’t go ride in gay parades.”

We’re guessing James isn’t a fan of Annise Parker, the current mayor of Houston and an out lesbian.

Photo: ABC News

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Feb 27, 2012
Tagged: , , ,

  • 40 Comments
    • Kurtsa
      Kurtsa

      Good for her for standing up for her beliefs, I think more people should be willing to challenge the right wing bigots, lest we find ourselves in a country run by them.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C

      She is clearly not someone who can do her job without imposing her agenda. Maybe she should be in a different line of work. She’s definitely not doing the gay movement any favors.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Right Is Right
      Right Is Right

      Isn’t this blatant discrimination? If another judge refused to marry gay couples (where it was legal), and sent them to a different judge like she does, wouldn’t Queerty be all over this as a violation of basic civil rights? I suspect what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander in the gay ghetto.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jewed Law
      Jewed Law

      @Isaac C: As a lawyer, I can tell you that most judges possess some form of agenda or another. Sad but true.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dorothea from Germany
      Dorothea from Germany

      @Isaac C & Right Is Right: I totally agree with you. Whether she likes the current law or not, she has to abide by it and do her f*cking job, because that’s what she’s paid for. The same applies to judges who dislike the marriage equality law in their respective state. No double standards – isn’t that what we want?

      Feb 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      Another case of GLBT’s doing something to Straight people that we were pissed off that they did to us… There was a Town Clerk in NY State that said that she would not marry us, it was against her faith

      We Can’t have it both ways

      Feb 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pocket Otter
      Pocket Otter

      I understand she’s not required to wed people, that it’s voluntary in her job description, but that’s irrelevant. If we want acceptance by others, we have to show acceptance of others. She’s making us look bad, and it won’t help anything but her ego.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DenverBarbie
      DenverBarbie

      @JAW: The difference being she does not treat these couples with disgust, but instead points them to others who will happily marry them. I do not see the comparison at all.

      I think her actions are both justifiable and bold. And she’s a fcking knock out, too!

      Feb 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      To everyone complaing shes doing something unfair let us examine the word “equality.”

      The state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities.

      This means through good and BAD everyone is treated the same. She is treating everyone fairly. As a judge this is her job. So all this nonsense about a personal agenda aside she is doing her job to the very definition. She is treating everyone equally.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adam
      Adam

      Hmm… I was going to chime in with No5 & company, until I saw the note that, unlike the town clerk in question, she’s not required to marry anyone. And, unlike the town clerk situation, she’s not shutting them out completely–just redirecting them. I’m now inclined to take her side…

      Feb 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dsp
      dsp

      The difference between her and the town clerk is that the town clerk is requiered to hand out marriage liscences to everyone including same sex couples (if those marriages are legal in the state the town clerk works in) whereas this judge is not requiered to marry anyone, it is a privilege they have that they not need to take up. She is not being discriminitory against anyone since she is not marrying anyone. I applaud her for her choice not to marry anyone until marriage equality has come to fruition!

      Feb 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ye Gods
      Ye Gods

      This is just a discriminatory as a straight judge refusing to marry gay couples.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • YouKnowIt!
      YouKnowIt!

      *Sigh* Discrimination will never end, I see.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      @DenverBarbie:
      First off I agree… she is cute…

      But I disagree with what she is doing. I understand the idea behind it… but the argument used in the New York case was… The clerk was elected to do a job… That job includes marrying people or issuing marriage licenses… Judge was elected or appointed to do the same thing.

      If she feels so strongly about not serving all of the people she is sworn to, then like the woman in New York she should resign.

      Sadly we cannot have it both ways.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marc
      Marc

      First off, it’s not her job to marry people. That is not the public mandate for which she was elected. It is something that she is empowered to do; not obligated to do. Much like homophobic public officials who use their office to promote their radical agendas but who are strangely not as attacked by some of those who commented on this post as much as Judge Parker has been attacked. No idea why (he says sarcastically.) How is she making us look bad by the way? I think Adam Lambert beating his boyfriend makes us look bad; not a judge standing up for equality. And how is her policy truly discriminatory exactly? I think certain people have a twisted sense of this. She’s not saying straight people don’t have the right to get married. She’s not saying straight people do not have and do not deserve equal protection under the law. Sorry, just because you want her to be wrong doesn’t make it so.

      Secondly, thank you Judge Parker. For having the courage to stand up for what your community is fighting for daily. Many others in politics or places of power and influence who are proclaimed as our allies or are members of the GLBT community have not demonstrated near this same level of bravery or true commitment to issues important to us.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • perdeep
      perdeep

      I think she’s being very brave. It’s a political act and statement, and it isn’t just done out of “reverse discrimination”–the people she’s “discriminating” against are those who still have the privilege over the people she’s defending. The LGBT community has plenty of people who play nice and wait politely for rights to be given to us. Every movement needs a few activists who are willing to go a bit bold.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh, ok.
      Oh, ok.

      Lmfao black gays just cannot win. This woman puts her reputation on the line to stand up for OUR rights and some of you are blasting her for it.

      What exactly will satisfy you? We stay silent and out of sight until you need a vote for something?

      That’s the real irony here. It’s really disgusting how the comments always change here based on the skin color of the person being discussed.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ye Gods
      Ye Gods

      @Oh, ok.: Seriously? You think this is racial? That people disagree with her actions because she’s black? How utterly, laughably naive.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh, ok.
      Oh, ok.

      @Ye Gods: Sure.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      Good for her! Brave woman, she is!

      Feb 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ronn
      Ronn

      @Dorothea from Germany:
      Both of you could not be more wrong. She is doing her job. Judges are NOT obligated to perform ANY marriages. I know because I work for the Texas courts. Please educate yourself before passing empty headed judgments. I applaud her and actions are ringing loud here in Texas.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C

      @Ronn: It doesn’t matter if it’s not what she’s required to do for her job. The fact is that she’s choosing not to do it as a part of her job by turning away heterosexuals and redirecting them to someone else. No matter which way you slice it, she’s imposing her agenda and using her job to make a political statement – she said so herself. It is inappropriate.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair
      WillBFair

      I first had the knee jerk reaction that she was doing wrong, like that nut job clerk in NY.
      But the fact that it’s not in her job description totally changes the matter. She’s covered, and by showing kindness toward hetero couples, she’s making a clear, well thought out statement. Smooches!

      Feb 28, 2012 at 12:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wtbranch
      wtbranch

      Some Bible Scriptures on Homosexual & Sexually Immoral Acts. Don’t HATE me; God said it!!
      1. Leviticus 18:22
      Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.
      2. Leviticus 20:13
      ‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
      3. Genesis 1:27
      So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
      4. Mark 10:6
      But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.
      5. Romans 1:26
      Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
      6. Romans 13:12
      13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
      7. 1 Corinthians 6:9
      Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
      8. 1 Corinthians 10:8
      8We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes.
      9. 2Corinthians 12:21
      21I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.
      10. Galatians 5:19
      19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
      11. Ephesians 5:3 3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
      12. Colossians 3: 5-10
      5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
      13. 1Thessalonians 4:3-8
      3It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control his own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
      14. Jude 1:7
      7In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 5:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marc
      Marc

      @wtbranch: First off, off topic. You’ve obviously come here to spread your hate, self-hate or simply share your indoctrination and brainwashing with everyone else. It’s not news as to what some people say the Bible says about homosexuality; but it bears little impact, at least as far as I’m concerned, for two simple reasons. The first being the most obvious, there are many passages in the Bible that make reference to either banning or endorsing acts which overtime Christians no longer adhere to. Why? They’re outdated or have simply been attributed to authors who placed those particular passages in the Bible at a time where they were more relevant. So given the prevalence of these passages throughout the Bible, the overall credibility as to it’s accuracy is questionable at best. So you can say God wrote it all ya want; there’s just as much evidence to suggest he didn’t. And that’s for those who believe in God or more specifically, the Christian God.

      Secondly, I won’t be lectured by modern Christians on the morality of an act that has been shown to occur naturally in all species on this planet and furthermore has no intrinsic negative effect on humans. Ya know what does have said effect, your hate and intolerance. You have gone out of your way today to do what exactly? Attack. You would think of yourself as ministering to gays; but all you are doing is throwing stones. And for someone who no doubt takes the Bible as literally as you do, isn’t that a huge no-no. Why don’t you take some time with yourself and explore why you are so judgmental and angry at gays. Is it some need to feel superior to someone or an entire group of people? Is it perhaps you hate something which lies within yourself? Either way, go see a shrink and leave us alone.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 6:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marc
      Marc

      @wtbranch: And one more thing, for a literal follower and believer of the Bible, why do you and yours in the modern age tend to pick and choose which phrases God did or didn’t mean literally? Could you be using the Bible for your own personal agenda? To support attacking just what you find “icky?” That not very Christian is it?

      Feb 28, 2012 at 7:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ye Gods
      Ye Gods

      @Oh, ok.: Any excuse to play the race card, eh?

      Feb 28, 2012 at 9:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dsp
      dsp

      @Marc: +2

      Feb 28, 2012 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dorothea from Germany
      Dorothea from Germany

      @Isaac C: “It doesn’t matter if it’s not what she’s required to do for her job. The fact is that she’s choosing not to do it as a part of her job by turning away heterosexuals and redirecting them to someone else. No matter which way you slice it, she’s imposing her agenda and using her job to make a political statement.”

      Exactly what I think. I just couldn’t have expressed it so well.
      * * *
      Before making any judgement, people need to imagine the reverse situation. If Texas had marriage equality and a Texan judge refused to perform a same-sex marriage because of personal dislike of the law, then we would be angry, because the judge mixed personal views with her/his job. We wouldn’t say, “Oh, great! The judge stands up for what s/he believes in by making use of her/his possibility to reject the couple!”

      Besides, you have to consider that we need straight allies to get equal rights. The straight couples who are rejected by this judge might already be on our side, which means that it’s not their fault that Texas doesn’t have marriage equality. Punishing the wrong people is unfair. Also, if we want straight people to stick up for OUR rights, then REJECTING them is NOT the way to go. Such behaviour will just make them angry and less likely to support us.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marc
      Marc

      @Dorothea from Germany: Good idea. Let’s not make anyone uncomfortable or challenge the status quo in any way. As we all know, all civil rights achievements, particularly those in the gay community, have been won by simply waiting for change to come. Ya know what? I’m not too sure those gay pride parades are doing us any favors since ya mention it. So we should probably just cut that out since it does make some people uncomfortable. Ya know we should probably just stop being gay…it seems to ruffle too many feathers.

      And who does she think she is? A political figure (she is elected) using her office to make a political statement? Why, Rick Santorum and George W. Bush (oh and nearly the entire Texas legislature, Rick Perry and many, many others) would be appalled!!

      As for our straight allies, we could end up loosing them the same way the civil rights movement of the 1960s lost all of its white allies when they were doing all those boycotts and sit ins. I mean, gosh, it wasn’t the poor diners and bus operators fault that states like Alabama didn’t have equal rights or protect against racial discrimination.

      Sarcasm aside…grow up. Our rights will not be won by politely asking for them. At some point people need to take a stand. And before you start beating the drum of “what if” you might want to look around a bit. That has happened. In many of the states where marriage equality is law. No, not all judges, mainly clerks. Ya know people who ARE obligated to do sign marriage certificates. They used their political office to make a political statement (actually way more of a religious statement.) I wonder…did you comment so ferociously when you heard those stories?

      Feb 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tj
      tj

      Dorothea your argument is flawed because Gays can’t get married. If everyone had the right to marriage and a judge chose to perform straight unions and not gays then that would be discriminatory. If this judge were to say she was only going to perform gay unions then yeah that would be discriminatory. She is not saying that. She is saying she is not going to perform any marriages until the institution is completely fair. Makes sense.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • n900mixalot
      n900mixalot

      She won’t be around much longer, but while she is around she is being bold and making her voice heard. That is bravery, right there.

      And yes, the race card is ALWAYS on the table. This is America, it never gets taken off of the table because that’s how this country was founded and has operated for so many years, so don’t got whitewashing every little issue. When white women stop gripping their purses when I walk by, THEN the race card will be off of the table.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dorothea from Germany
      Dorothea from Germany

      @Marc: You think my comment was ferocious? Seriously? And yes, I make the same kind of comments when the situation is reverse. Fair is fair.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marc
      Marc

      @Dorothea from Germany: Yeah, I might have been reaching a bit since you only left a few comments. I guess I was really talking about others who I rarely see comment on those other stories; and in fact often take the opposite view when it comes to making political statements, particularly when made by Republicans, to the tune of supporting them for standing up for what they believe in…funny. Oh, and I couldn’t have said it better, fair is fair.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C

      @n900mixalot: Yes because your few white experiences with white women speak for all white people in America. That’s how it works, right?

      Sorry that you’re black, but don’t hold all white people hostage for that.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh, ok.
      Oh, ok.

      @Ye Gods: Anything to kick a black gay person in the teeth, eh?

      Feb 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dorothea from Germany
      Dorothea from Germany

      @Marc: Back to your first comment: I didn’t say that we should wait for change. We definitely need to be vocal and do something.
      However, I also think that it’s important to respect other people’s rights even if they don’t respect ours. Otherwise, we are not any better than them. And I like to think that we ARE better … or rather smarter. So, let’s not stoop to their level.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C

      @Dorothea from Germany: @Dorothea from Germany: I agree.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marc
      Marc

      @Dorothea from Germany: Whose rights are being “violated?” I think that’s the key here. How is Judge Parker violating rights? A judge, who has the right to not perform marriage ceremonies, refusing to not perform marriage ceremonies is not a violation of rights. And stooping to their level? If this act were stooping to their level, Judge Parker would have released a comprehensive statement quoting scripture that demeans and devalues heterosexual relationships. I think what you’re seeing is that her stand against marriage inequality is, somehow, also a stand against heterosexual marriage and that simply is not the case.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queer Supremacist
      Queer Supremacist

      @Oh, ok.: Hey, I’m on her side 100%. I think she’s a hero.

      Mar 4, 2012 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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