AUSTIN – Today, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick makes the following statement regarding the United States Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage:
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is not a decision based on any law that Congress has passed legalizing gay marriage in the United States. The Supreme Court, as it has in the past, is making law. I do not believe that is what the Constitution intended or allows. In my view, this is a clear violation of the separation of powers.
Article VI, section 2 of the U. S. Constitution:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
“Nearly 75 percent of all Texans voted to place in our state Constitution that, in Texas, marriage is defined as being between one man and one woman. If Congress wants to pass a law legalizing marriage in the United States, it would never pass. However, the Supreme Court has taken it upon themselves, by the margin on one vote, to create law and override the will of the people of 14 states.
“In a 5 – 4 vote today supporting gay marriage as the law of the land, the Supreme Court has once again ruled in a manner that I believe is not only unconstitutional but threatens to undermine the First Amendment protections from government interfering with the free exercise of religion. The First Amendment , which reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
“Now, more than ever, we must ensure that faithful Texans be afforded their religious liberty protections. During this past session the Senate passed SB 2065, which was signed by the Governor, that protects pastors from having to perform a marriage between two people of the same sex if it goes against their religious beliefs.
“Yesterday, I sent a request to Texas Attorney General Paxton for a legal opinion on the protection of religious liberty rights of Texans guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, should the Supreme Court rule in favor of same sex marriage, as they did today. My request broadens the scope of SB 2065 to include County Clerks, judges and Justices of the Peace who may be forced to issue a marriage license or preside over a wedding that is against the free exercise of their religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment.
“It has been said that those who oppose gay marriage are on the wrong side of history. I would rather be on the wrong side of history than on the wrong side of my faith and my beliefs. I believe I am not alone in that view in this country.
“May God continue to bless our country and the great state of Texas.”