Tale of Two Dallases: Lesbian Judge Won’t Marry Couples; Senate Candidates’ Anti-Gay Remarks
A Dallas County judge is supporting LGBT rights in a unique way. Judge Tonya Parker says she won’t marry straight couples until gays and lesbians can legally tie the knot, local news station 5NBCDFW reported.
Parker, an open lesbian, told Stonewall Democrats of Dallas during a meeting earlier this week that she refuses to perform legal marriages until everyone has the right to marry.
"I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state because I feel like I have to tell them why I’m turning them away," Parker said. "So I usually will offer them something along the lines of, ’I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people.’ 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."
"I do not, and would never, impede any person’s right to get married. 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," Parker said in a statement.
In 2010, Parker became the first openly gay woman to be elected as a county judge in Dallas.
Although Parker’s actions aim to progress LGBT rights in the state, which does not recognize any kind of legal relationship for same-sex partners, two Texas Republicans running for senate made anti-gay comments and slammed the former Dallas mayor for participating in gay pride parades, Think Progress reported.
Craig James, a former NFL player and Ted Cruz both criticized former Dallas mayor, Tom Leppert (R), during a debate and claimed that he was trying to appear pro-gay.