Hood County, Texas Clerk Katie Lang just found out that her ?religious freedom? comes at a pretty steep price.
A report from the New Civil Rights Movement detailed the events that transpired subsequent to the Supreme Court ruling that legalized marriage equality throughout the country:
Together 27 years, Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton just want to get married. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage on June 26, the Grandbury, Texas couple thought they?d be able to, like everyone else in America. They were wrong.
First, Hood County, Texas county clerk Katie Lang refused to issue them a marriage license, citing her deeply held religious beliefs. On June 30 Lang criticized the Supreme Court ?for ?newly inventing? a constitutional right to gay marriage,? Courthouse News reports. She then ?cited a June 28 nonbinding opinion by Attorney General Ken Paxton that urged county clerks and justices of the peace not to issue licenses or perform same-sex marriages if they have personal religious objections.?
She later relented, saying someone else in her office would issue the license, but told the couple she didn?t have the forms, and wouldn?t for another three weeks. When Jim and Joe told her they downloaded the forms online, printed them and then filled them out ? in her office ? she refused to accept them.
The couple have been showing up daily to try to obtain a marriage license. Jim and Joe did finally get that marriage license and to mark the occasion, they filed a federal lawsuit against Ms. Lang.
Yesterday, Ms. Lang?s chickens came home to roost. Attorneys for Mssrs. Cato and Stapleton announced a settlement to the suit, and Lang is on the hook for nearly $44,000. Given that Lang was working in a county office, the taxpayers will most likely pick up the tab.
The settlement amount covers the costs of the litigation and contains no punitive damages, because as Jim and Joe pointed out when they filed, they were never after money, nor were they out to ?get? Ms. Lang. All they wanted was equality.
They got their equality, and one would hope that Ms. Lang learned a lesson in civics.