Judging by a tense interview on CNN's New Day today, the top lawman in Texas isn't willing to say whether his state would abide by a ruling from the Supreme Court bringing marriage equality to all 50 states.
Viewers could almost hear a tumbleweed roll across the screen when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was asked whether "Texas would have to conform to the federal law" if the nation's high court rules that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
"If the Supreme Court is making the ruling on marriage, we deal with that all the time," Paxton responded.
Host Alisyn Camerota paused, apparently expecting Paxton to elaborate. When he didn't, Camerota pressed: "Meaning what?"
The TV went silent for more than three seconds, as if someone had inadvertently pressed the "mute" button.
Camerota tried to prompt Paxton to respond, offering: "Meaning Texas would have to conform to the Supreme Court?"
"Again, we would have to see how it worked," replied Paxton. "We would have to see exactly how that opinion is written, versus how this law is passed."
The law Paxton is referring to was discussed earlier in the segment, as part of a litany of anti-LGBT legislation Texas lawmakers are scheduled to vote on this week. One of those bills, expected to advance before the end of the legislative term, would make it illegal for any state or local employee or municipality to recognize a same-sex marriage, including issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple, or document the marriage of a same-sex couple in any official state records.
Despite Paxton's intrasingence, Camerota kept her cool, citing Lambda Legal's statement calling the proposed Texas law "blatantly discriminatory."
"Aren't you saying that the gays and lesbians in your state are not as valued, because they can't form into a union?" she asked.
Paxton responded that the legislature is merely defining marriage as it has been "for over two centuries."
"And what about homosexuals who fall in love?" Camerota asked. "What should they do?"
"Well, I mean, they can do whatever they want," said Paxton.
"Well, they can't really do what they want," Camerota countered. "Do you understand why gays in Texas would feel that that's discriminating against them?"
"Well," said Paxton, "they can feel how they want."
When Paxton was asked what will happen to the Texas anti–marriage equality bill once the Supreme Court rules, Paxton clammed up, saying "we don't know" how the Supreme Court will rule, nor what laws the state legislature will pass.
Watch Paxton's CNN interview below, courtesy of Raw Story.