Texas Judge Denies Wedding Ceremony Space to Lesbian Couple

BY Michelle Garcia

July 17 2012 4:35 PM ET

A town in Texas is dealing with a gay wedding controversy after a local judge denied a lesbian couple the right to have a commitment ceremony in a publicly owned space.

The unidentified couple requested to have a ceremony at Fort Belknap in June. Young County Judge John Bullock denied their request because same-sex couples do not have marriage rights in Texas, and their application called the event a wedding.

"There's been weddings out there, heterosexual weddings," Bullock said to KDAF News. He said he denied the request because he "didn't think it was in the best interest of the fort or for Young County."  

However the county commission stepped in and voted 4-1 to overturn the judge's decision. Commissioner Stacey Rogers said there was little harm in allowing the couple to have a commitment ceremony on the fort's grounds.

"Even though it may say wedding, this is just a ceremonial process. It's nothing legally binding. It's just like a group of family or friends going out there, and you're denying access to public property," he said.

Bullock countered by submitting policy to the county commission, which would allow him to restrict the use of county-owned property on the basis of "legal, ethical, or practical" conflicts. On Monday night, the commission rejected Bullock's proposal, saying it was too vague.

The couple eventually decided to have their ceremony elsewhere.

Watch the KDAF News report below:

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