A gay couple in Texas has settled their lawsuit over a denied marriage license. The federal suit was brought against a county law clerk in Texas, who refused to give the gay couple a marriage license last June. The law clerk, Hood County Clerk Katie Lang, said that to issue the license would have violated her Christian beliefs. The woman refused to personally grant a marriage license for the men.
The law clerk's stance was no doubt a controversial one in the eyes of the law, considering that she refused to issue the marriage license following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last June to grant all gay couples in the United States the right to get married.
Settled Suit for $44,000
After being denied the marriage certificate, the men initiated their lawsuit last month; and now, the following month, they have settled it. Lawyers representing the gay couple announced on Monday that the two men, Joe Stapleton and Jim Cato, settled their suit for nearly $44,000, which represented their legal fees.
One of the lawyers in the case issued the following statement in praise of the settlement: "Clerk Lang is fortunate that the Hood County Commissioners agreed to resolve the lawsuit now to save her from dealing with the additional expense and significant financial exposure her actions caused the taxpayers of her county.”
Many Continue to Fight the Supreme Court Ruling
This Texas case is not the only one where a county clerk has tried to avoid issuing a same-sex marriage license. For example, a clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, has appealed an order requiring the issuance of a marriage certificate to a gay couple. The appeal has resulted in a temporary stay on issuing marriage licenses in Rowan County until the appeal has been resolved. Similar issues have also been reported across the nation.
It will be interesting to see how legal issues surrounding the issuance of gay marriage certificates unfold in different parts of the country. Indeed, just because the Supreme Court has ruled on the matter does not mean that it cannot be challenged in the years to come.
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