The Lesbian Dallas Judge Who Refused To Officiate Weddings Is Doing Them Now…

Back to homepage

…but had refused to officiate any for three years because Texas was not a “marriage equality state.” And in that time, the only consequence to Judge Tonya Parker was the notoriety and platform she gained – not the jail time Kim Davis was hit with last week for refusing to perform duties commensurate with her office.

Back in 2012, Parker’s refusal made her a national name

The judge, Tonya Parker, recently explained her decision during a Stonewall Democrats of Dallas monthly meeting.

“I do not perform them because it is not an equal application of the law. Period,” she said, reports the NY Daily News.

Parker says she is using her decision as an opportunity to give a lesson about marriage equality in the state.

“So I usually will offer them something along the lines of, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people,’” she says.

Same-sex marriage licenses have been granted in six states: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

And in June, after the Obergefell case was decided Parker got back into the marriage business – to officiate a lesbian wedding.

The two made history as the first same-sex couple to get married in the George Allen Courthouse in downtown Dallas.

It was also an exciting moment for Judge Tonya Parker, who officiated the marriage.

It was her first in three years. She had declined to perform the ceremony until everyone could get married.

“The decision today represents an opportunity where I can now marry couples that come to the courtroom, like any other judge,” Parker said.

The judge has quietly waited for this day to come. She has declined to speak out on the subject, other than in written statements, because she did not want to use her position to make a political statement.

It simply didn’t feel right to exclude some couples from the institution of marriage, she said.

“I thought was inappropriate, because I did not want to exercise it for some and not for all,” Parker said.

Meanwhile, Kim Davis still languishes in a Kentucky jail on orders from a federal judge who had demanded she issue marriage certificates to gay couples, in violation of her religious beliefs. Davis, a Christian, isn’t allowed discretion as to what is appropriate for her office.