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WATCH: Texas Couple Who Sued for Marriage License Will Now Receive It

WATCH: Texas Couple Who Sued for Marriage License Will Now Receive It

A Texas gay couple filed suit against a county clerk this morning over her office’s refusal to issue them a marriage license — but now her office is granting Jim Cato and Joe Stapleto the license, which the couple is expected to pick up this afternoon. 

That doesn’t, however, mean the suit will be dismissed, said Jan Soifer, an attorney representing the couple in their federal lawsuit against Hood County Clerk Katie Lang.

“The license was issued this morning, a few hours after the lawsuit was filed, in handwriting on the existing license form, which proves that County Clerk Lang easily could have complied with the law without waiting 10 days,” said a statement released by Soifer this morning, according to CBS’s Dallas–Fort Worth affiliate. “Under these circumstances, the lawsuit will not be dismissed until and unless we have an agreement from Clerk Lang that her office will issue marriage licenses to all couples, gay and straight, without delay, and an agreement to pay Jim and Joe’s attorneys’ fees for being forced to file the lawsuit.”

Cato and Stapleton attempted to get a marriage license last week but were turned away. Lang has said she objects to marriage equality on religious grounds, so she will not issue licenses to same-sex couples, but she promised that other employees in her office would serve these couples. However, when Cato and Stapleton went in for their license Thursday, a staffer told them the office didn’t have the proper forms — even though more than more than 200 other Texas counties have them, and they are available online.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has backed the right of county clerks and their staffs to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if they have religious objections, an opinion that has resulted in an ethics complaint being filed against him with the State Bar of Texas.

Cato and Stapleton plan to hold a press conference this afternoon, The Dallas Morning News reports. Watch a report on the Hood County situation below.

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