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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Lesbian judge won't wed straight couples
2012-02-29

This article shared 3165 times since Wed Feb 29, 2012
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In Texas, Dallas County Judge Tonya Parker has said she won't perform marriage ceremonies until same-sex couples can wed, according to NBCDFW.com .

During a Feb. 21 meeting, Parker told the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, "I use it as my opportunity to give [opposite-sex couples] a lesson about marriage inequality in this state because I feel like I have to tell them why I'm turning them away." Parker has added that she passes marriage ceremonies on to other judges so they can be completed.

Parker was elected two years ago, and is the first out lesbian to be elected a county judge in Dallas.

In a statement to the media, Parker said, in part, "I faithfully and fully perform all of my duties as the Presiding Judge of the 116th Civil District Court, where it is my honor to serve the citizens of Dallas County and the parties who have matters before the Court.

"Performing marriage ceremonies is not a duty that I have as the Presiding Judge of a civil district court. It is a right and privilege invested in me under the Family Code. I choose not to exercise it, as many other Judges do not exercise it. Because it is not part of our duties, some Judges even charge a fee to perform the ceremonies.

"I do not, and would never, impede any person's right to get married. In fact, when people wander into my courtroom, usually while I am presiding over other matters, I direct them to the Judges in the courthouse who do perform marriage ceremonies. If my deputy is not busy, I will even ask him to escort or help these individuals find another Judge who performs the ceremonies. I do this because I believe in the right of people to marry and pursue happiness."


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