Which county same-sex married the best?

Posted on 28 Jun 2015 at 6:19pm

IMG_0117Marriage equality came to 21 counties in Texas on Friday, June 21. But which county won? And yes, it’s a competition.

Well, we know who lost: 233 counties who elected homophobic county clerks.

Dallas County Clerk John Warren hoped to be the first to issue licenses. While he did issue 170 licenses that day, he wasn’t first. That honor goes to Tarrant County whose clerk was hesitating just a day before. But she opened the marriage bureau window at 10 a.m. Dallas began issuing at noon.

Most licenses? Fort Worth opened early, but because of news of the hesitation, there was no rush. Dallas issued 170 licenses by the end of Friday. But the winner? Travis County, which issued 313 licenses on Friday.

Latecomer Harris County, which relented at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, issued at least as many licenses as Dallas, possibly as many as Travis, but the numbers we have are conflicting and we’re disqualifying them for an award because their county clerk was acting like a prick.

Third award is for most organized. The award goes to Todd Whitley, executive director of Hope for Peace and Justice, who scripted Decision Day in Dallas County from announcement to final celebration.

So the rest of the state will get a good laugh at this, but Dallas simply stayed on script. Supreme Court announcement at 9 a.m. Press conference with pastors and activists at 11:30 a.m. in time for the noon news. Licenses at noon. Celebration at Cathedral of Hope at 6. March down Cedar Springs at 8 p.m. Celebration at the monument to end at 9:07. Yes, that rainstorm that abruptly ended the gathering was indeed planned. Very orchestrated and everything worked in our usual, over-organized Dallas fashion and we’re quite pleased with it.

So what about the 233 counties whose clerks are not issuing licenses? Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton said that’s fine if they’re refusing to issue a government document to some people and issue the same document to others on religious grounds. But he said everyone must be accommodated somehow. How will this play out? Lambda Legal and the ACLU will have a very busy week.

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