Supreme Court Legal Case Finally Comes With Fruits

In Waco, Texas, A justice of the peace has been vocal in her opposition to officiating same-sex marriages for years. She is now claiming she is within her rights to decline, based on a recent LGBT+ Supreme Court verdict.

According to reports, Judge Dianne Hensley has filed a brief with the Texas Supreme Court to protect her religious freedom, arguing that the recent US Supreme Court verdict in 303 Creative LLC v Elenis allows her to decline to officiate same-sex marriages.  

Judge Hensley, who had been battling with the government since 2019, is affected by the Court’s rejection of the “compelling interest” provision.  As recently as last month, the Texas Supreme Court consented to hear arguments in the case since the lower courts had rejected it.

According to First Liberty Institute’s deputy general counsel Justin Butterfield, Judge Hensley strictly adhered to the law in all of her rulings. She tried to live according to her faith and be welcoming to all people, but the government still decided to penalize her. They anticipate the Supreme Court of Texas will rectify this unfairness.

A judge in Texas is permitted but not required to officiate at a wedding.

Judge Hensley was a devout Christian and dedicated public servant. Therefore, she was confident she would not do anything that would cause her to sin. She wanted to provide a low-cost wedding option for all locals and comply with the legislation for same-sex couples, despite her religious aversion to officiating same-sex marriages.

She made it her mission to ensure that same-sex couples would feel welcome at her workplace. Near the courtroom where Judge Hensley works is a civil officiant legally allowed to perform marriages in Waco. Judge Hensley went so far as to cover any additional costs for same-sex couples she referred, but the professional agreed to the same fee as Judge Hensley’s.

The clerks in Judge Hensley’s courtroom are also authorized to conduct marriages. In the event that Judge Hensley is unable to perform a wedding due to her schedule or her faith, she has directed her staff to inform the couple that they may have the ceremony performed by another person in the same time frame and at the same fee.