Robert Lloyd filed a lawsuit against Williamson County this week after being asked during an employment interview about his religion, whether he voted Republican and his views on abortion and same-sex marriage.
Lloyd was applying for an open constable position.
Williamson County officials defended their questions on the grounds that the position is normally elected. The previous constable resigned and voters would want to know the candidate’s position on these issues, they argued.
“He said to the commissioners it was tough to answer the question about gay marriage,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants did not approve of this attitude, and even told Mr. Lloyd he needed a better answer to their questions about gay marriage.”
After the interview, commissioners voted unanimously to hire the brother-in-law of the of the person who serves as attorney for the Commissioners Court.
According to KXAN in Austin, other candidates were asked the questions as well.
In addition to protections in the U.S. Constitution, the Texas Bill of Rights protects against religious discrimination in Article 1: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State.”
Williamson County is north of Austin.