Texas Has a Test Case. Irion County Clerk Won't License Same-Sex Marriages

You can almost hear the echo of John C. Calhoun, Ross Barnett or George Wallace reading Molly Crimer's statement. The county clerk of Irion County, smack dab in the middle of the middle of nowhere in West Texas said late Monday that she will not be issuing same-sex marriage licenses to any of her county's just over 1,600 residents. Supreme Court be damned. U.S. 5th Circuit Court be damned. Oath of office be damned. Crimer is going to follow her version of natural law, no matter what anybody says.

"To keep my oath to uphold the Constitution, I must reject this ruling that I believe is lawless," Crimer said. "I have to stand for the Constitution and the rule of law."

Crimer is backed by the Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit, public interest law firm that basically serves as the legal arm of the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University, which apparently, like Crimer, believes that a county clerk is within her rights to declare federal laws unconstitutional.

“The Supreme Court has historically made a number of bad rulings that time and justice have been able to realize and overcome. The opinion of five lawyers regarding marriage is another example of an unjust law that will be overcome as people stand together, individually, and as states,” Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said. "Like Molly, each of us should vow not to be intimidated but, instead, to stand united for our God-given liberties and the rule of Law."

Stand up for the rule of law by ignoring centuries of constitutional scholarship. Got it.

Just in case any of you guys are thinking about getting married this week and feel like making a ruckus, you can get to Mertzon, the Irion County seat, by taking Interstate 20 West to TX 206 South. The clerk's office is at 209 N. Parkview St. After Crimer turns you down, head northeast on U.S. 67 to San Angelo and Irion County's assigned U.S. District Court, where you can file your lawsuit at the O.C. Fisher Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. The courthouse is located at 33 East Twohig Ave. Godspeed and please email us your photos.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young