Smith County Clerk Karen Phillips
Smith County Clerk Karen Phillips, who was facing a lawsuit filed by private counsel after refusing to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, has folded and issued the license, according to lobbyist/activist/former state Rep. Glen Maxey.
“Damn it’s hard to find a case this morning to sue their asses,” Maxey wrote on Facebook at about 10:30 a.m. today (Monday, June 29). “Smith County folded. Karen and Jolie have a marriage license.”
Maxey also noted that some other hold-out counties had begun issuing licenses: “Williamson County folded. Fort Bend County folded. Bell County folded.”
Other counties out of Texas’ 254 that are already complying with the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, as listed by Maxey, are Bexar, Blanco, Brazos, Calhoun, Dallas, Denton, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Milam, Rockwall, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Victoria, Wichita, Williamson.
Check other Instant Texas blog posts for additional counties.
Phillips had initially refused to issued licenses to same-sex couples, basing her decision on an opinion issued by Texas’ right-wing Attorney General Ken Paxton saying that clerks could refuse to issue marriage licenses if doing so were against their religious beliefs. However, the opinion also said everyone had to be accommodated, so someone in the office had to issue any couple a license. Lambda Legal has told Dallas Voice that county clerks can he held personally liable for damages if they refuse to uphold the law.