Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seems to have his sights set on being the next Religious Right martyr.
In a move that is as petty as it is mean spirited, Paxton recently asked a court not to recognize the common-law marriage of two women, one of whom is now deceased. The issue arose when Sonemaly Phrasavath, surviving wife of Stella Powell, made a claim to the inheritance that Powell left her when she died in 2014.
Now that marriage equality is officially on the books in the United States, the bills racked up by state officials who decided to listen to the Religious Right in defense of a lost cause are coming due. One of those debts is apparently pretty large, as a federal judge just ordered South Carolina to pay $135,000 in fees.
Some Religious Right operatives have said they would rather go to jail than accept marriage equality in the states. Although Texas’ attorney general has not yet made so bold a statement, he may nonetheless spend some time behind bars for his refusal to cooperate with the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage decision.
Yesterday Americans United launched Protect Thy Neighbor (PTN), our new project designed to respond to claims that “religious freedom” gives people a right to discriminate against others and take away their rights.
The Washington Post over the weekend published a rather silly column online by Judd Birdsall, managing director of the Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies, asserting that opponents of same-sex marriage had reacted gracefully to Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court.