Christine Dhanagom


Lesbian judge refuses to marry heterosexual couples

Christine Dhanagom

DALLAS, February 28, 2012 ( - A lesbian judge in Texas says she will not perform wedding ceremonies for heterosexuals until the state allows homosexuals to “marry” as well.

Dallas County Judge Tonya Parker told the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas at a meeting last Tuesday that it would be “oxymoronic” for her to perform wedding ceremonies that can’t be performed for her.

She said that when couples appear in her courtroom, she directs them to another judge, but not before using the opportunity to “give them a lesson about marriage equality.”

“I usually will offer them something along the lines of, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people,’” she said.

After her speech received national attention, she elaborated on the legal ramifications of her unusual policy for the gay news service Dallas Voice.

“Performing marriage ceremonies is not a duty that I have as the Presiding Judge of a civil district court,” she said. “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.”

Her speech has been uploaded onto Youtube, where it has received almost 25,000 hits.

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas issued a statement last Thursday in support of Parker, whose campaign they had endorsed during her 2010 election.

The organization claimed that the Texas was denying “1,138 rights” to same-sex couples by not allowing them to marry, and applauded Parker for treating every person “equally without bias.”

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