Paxton: State workers can deny licenses to same-sex couples

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says state workers can cite their religious objections in denying marriage licenses. (KTRK)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton calls the Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry a "lawless ruling" and says state workers can cite their religious objections in denying marriage licenses.

He warned in a statement Sunday that any clerk, justice of the peace or other administrator who declines to issue a license to a same-sex couple could face litigation or a fine.

But he says "numerous lawyers" stand ready to defend, free of charge, any public official refusing to grant one.

Paxton's comments echoed those Friday of Gov. Greg Abbott who said Texans can't be forced by the court ruling to act contrary to their religious beliefs.

Paxton in his statement says the justices "weakened the rule of law" and "fabricated a new constitutional right."

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