Not unsurprisingly, Texas has an overabundance of bureaucratic, passive-aggressive and homophobic county clerks. Last week, we told you the saga of Karen Wilkerson and Jolie Smith, a couple who decided to file a lawsuit after East Texas county clerk Karen Phillips refused to grant them a marriage license. (That lawsuit has since been dropped.)
Now, it’s the exact same story — and again in Texas — with gay couple Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton, who have been together for 27 years. Their request for a marriage license was denied by Hood County, Texas county clerk Katie Lang, who claimed her deeply religious beliefs forbid her… to do her job.
Related: Buffalo Denied This Lesbian a Marriage License. A Moment Later She Grabbed a Stranger and Married Him
She assured the couple that someone else in the office could assist them, but she simply couldn’t find the necessary forms anywhere. When Jim and Joe told her they’d already downloaded, printed, and filed out the forms in her office, she still steadfastly refused to accept them.
Now Jim and Joe are showing up at the office every day, with a steadily growing media presence behind them. Even Anderson Cooper has taken notice:
Jim Cato & Joe Stapleton are waiting for a marriage license in #HoodCo #Texas – @ryanobles on delay pic.twitter.com/Z5ufh6prhR
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 3, 2015
It’s all gotten to be a bit much for poor Katie Lang, who went so far as to call the police in the hopes of getting the couple, reporters and photographers removed from her office.
Jim and Joe have now filed a federal lawsuit so they can marry.
Speaking to CBS, Jim said, “If her personal beliefs keep her from her duties as county clerk, then she should probably step out of her job. We’re not after her. We’re not after her job. We’re after equality.”
And after they let Katie Lang go, we hope the office finds a civil servant who’s genuinely civil.
not doing the job she s paid to do, than fire her.
Anyone else find it amusing and ironic that her name sounds like K. D. Lang?
don’t these stupid clerks understand our taxes pay their salaries and that they are public servants? We should specify our taxes only go to pay the salaries of those who have no prejudice toward anyone regardless of religion, color, sexual orientation or disability? Equal rights for every man and woman in the U.S.
well, Ms. Lang has relented and a hand written marriage license was produced. The couple has said they will not drop their lawsuit:
I don’t understand, if I don’t do my job I would get fired! Why aren’t these people getting fired???
Gil Siegfried preach brother!
How come these clerks that refuse to do their jobs aren’t fired for insubordination?
If I refuse to perform my required job duties, I would be fired.
I wonder what church this Katie Lang attends on a regular basis.
I’ll support ‘religious freedom’ when these bigots demonstrate that their biblical-based choices don’t interfere with someone else’s civil rights. If she can’t handle her job description (ie: issuing a simple govt document to local citizens requesting it) then she should bag groceries or just work as a church secretary.
Maybe Ted Cruz needs a mistress to travel with him to provide blowjobs when his wife isn’t available. She looks like she’d be good at that.
Michael P. Hamilton
For the second time in two weeks, Queerty is posting outdated information.
This couple was issued their marriage license, though they are still going to sue.
she has no standing. she’s supposed to do a job. she refuses. fire her.
I say fire them and hire employees who will do their jobs! #FireKatieLang
Yes, legally the government has to make reasonable accommodations to fit someone’s religious practice.
However, part of the reasonable accommodation legislation (as part of Civil Rights Act of 1964, ADA, and others) is that the person still has to be able to do the essential job functions (with the accommodation).
So, if you can’t (or, in this case, won’t) do the essential job function, you need to be either moved to another, similar job where you can perform the essential functions, or you need to quit.
Someone’s religious preference should not prevent the government from performing essential functions.
Besides, since when is any tenet of Christianity “thou shall not issue wedding licenses to gays”?
No one is preventing this bigot from exercising her free practice of religion.
There are people out there who would just love to work!
@SpunkyBunks: probably her employers feel the same way (it IS texas after all) but are happy to let her stand in front and take the heat.
Can I pass out the pink slips and be on the hiring review board to ensure the good people of Texas have civil servants that will serve all of Texas citizens
Suing religious bigots out of existence is the only way. They are the same bigots that are “proud” to be American, yet don’t follow the laws.
She should be sued, and the other suit should not have been dropped.
Major D. Easthagen III
Jeffrey Kagan McCann
It’s time to fired the Heifer. I hope you’ve saved up to pay your mortgage and pay for your kids dental work.
I started a petition calling for Katie Lang’s resignation or to start issuing licenses:
stop paying her then
I need this job when ever I don’t feel like doing something I just have to say religion and boom no work, I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time I’ve been actually doing all my duties as an employee I’m so dumb
Why has this story not been updated hours later?
I’d be fine with all this “religious freedom” nonsense if the people playing the faith card had to prove they live their life biblically & didn’t issue licenses to divorced people or people in a mix faith relationship.
Bad Ass Biker
@Gil Siegfried: Gil, you are so correct. That is the one thing that they do not stop to consider when they babble about the buy-bull.
This legalized “religious freedom” bullsh*t needs to be top-of-the-list as next battlefront against the bigots! They’re looking more & more ridiculous each passing day.
The person should be fired
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
If these Clerks were minorities the rightwing nutbags would be screaming about:
“lazy, irresponsible, people who refuse to work and do their jobs and just show up to collect a paycheck?
Would she issue a marriage license to a divorced couple seeking second marriages? Jeebus very specifically states that divorce is verboten. Another cherry picking religious nut job.
Such a asshole
Sue that son of a.
So where is that BJ McDumbass? Nowhere to be found!
She needs to be disciplined to do the legal thing or can her ass!
Church leaders need to back up and regroup as they have already done in the many countries who have reversed marriage discrimination for the LGBT folk years some decades ago. They’re not going to win this one!! Better to think of a way to interpret their fairy book to make it all fine and dandy as they have done many times before on other issues!
Whatever County she works for should be sued.. She should be fired as well
Like any major change it will require more legal battles but we will win.
Being public servants if they refuse to do their job – they should be Fired immediately for discrimination
OK I get this, because of their religious believes. But if you can’t do your legal job then good by. Now for the rest of you, is it not for God to judge. Live your own life and if you are perfect in his eyes you will make it to heaven. God will take care of us sinners, not youð???ð??± I am not Gay but I do not live without sin. My wife is very religious but she has cancer, stage 3 maybe 4 lung cancer. I know she will go to heaven but she still prays for me. PS I know of gays that believe in God. He will be the final judge.
No, the title should call a spade, a spade:
“Texas county clerk refuses to do her job, a.k.a. Insubordination !”
The reason she is insubordinate is irrelevant. Termination is the consequence.
Michael A. Hann
If I refused to do my job I would be fired. She be no different for her or anyone
Kevin J Desmond
Fire her right now and if the county wont do anything then sue the country as well and then the state !!!!
She should be hanged for treason.
Sue her ass too.
If she was truly a Christian as she claims to be, she needs to deny a marriage license to divorced people, shell fish and pork eaters….if and when they discriminate against everyone the bible says is a sinner, then it will be fine with me for them to deny issuing licenses.
I would just find her and beat the crap out of her in the parking lot at this point.
shes breaking the law – arrest her period
Fire their ass!!!
Why hasn’t she been fired yet? I’d say someone else isn’t doing their job, either. If you can’t or aren’t willing to do your job as required, then get the Hell out!! There’s no excuse for her to still be working there.
Government positions are opening up a lot lately.
…and remember, a person doing his job, but is gay, could get fired just for being gay. But a person refusing to do her job for religious (i.e., Christian) reasons gets to keep that job?!
I hope they ruin that bitch.
“Not unsurprisingly”???? Umm, that means IT IS surprising!!! Which it’s not. It should be written either, “Not surprisingly” or “Unsurprisingly”. If you’re going to write public articles, at least understand general grammar.
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