Dallas County justice of the peace Bill Metzger, who posted on Facebook saying he would refuse to marry a same-sex couple, is defending his stance after intense scrutiny and condemnation.
That criticism is coming from other judges, who quickly challenged Metzer's stance, saying it likely wouldn't survive a court challenge. Retired Dallas County District Judge John Cruezot told Dallas TV station WFAA:
“You don’t have to do any marriages, nobody can compel you to do a marriage. However, once you take on one set of individuals, you have to do it for everyone.”
“He’s doing a good job of getting his name out in front of people,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told WFAA. “But he is endangering the taxpayers with a possible lawsuit.”
While Metzger held firm in his belief that he is not opening the county up to a potential lawsuit, he did say that no same-sex couple had sought a license. Backing off slightly from his position, he said he “doesn’t have a crystal ball” to tell him what he would actually do.
In his defense, Metzger referenced Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's interpretation of state marriage laws following the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriages nationwide.
"As I said back in June of last year, because of my faith in God as a devout Catholic I will be only be conducting traditional marriages," Metzger wrote. "Recently, I have been asked about my beliefs and stance on traditional marriage. I think it is important to point out that this is the law in Texas per Attorney General Ken Paxton's legal interpretation via opinion KG-0025: 'Justices of the peace retain religious freedoms, and may claim that the government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections.' This came as a result of a request from Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. As such, it is not true for someone to say they are required by law to conduct a non-traditional wedding."
Watch the report from WFAA below, as Metzger attempts to defend his decision and comes up short.