A gay couple together 27 years has
filed a lawsuit against the Texas county clerk who has refused to
issue them a marriage license.
Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton have been
together 27 years. The couple has been repeatedly refused a marriage
license by Hood County Clerk Katie Lang.
In a written statement, Lang said that
her religious faith compels her “to personally refrain from issuing
same-sex marriage licenses” but that other staffers will issue
marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples in accordance with the
recent Supreme Court ruling striking down state bans on gay marriage.
Lang's office, however, has yet to
issue such a license, claiming that she has yet to receive the
Lang has the backing of Texas Values.
The conservative group held a rally in support of Lang last week.
According to the group, more than 200 people attended Thursday's
“We will not stand by and watch as
LGBT radicals try to destroy the guarantees of the First Amendment of
our Constitution and ruin the personal lives of Texans who support
marriage between one man and one woman,” said Jonathan Saenz, the
group's executive director. “We will not be silent.”
The lawyer representing Cato and
Stapleton said that he provided Lang with copies of a revised
marriage license application available on Texas' website, but was
told a different form was still needed, according to the complaint
The couple “found the entire process
to be humiliating and degrading, and have no reason to believe that
hey would receive a marriage license without having to file a lawsuit
to get it,” the