On Sunday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that state workers can deny same-sex couple marriage licenses if it contradicts their religious beliefs

Paxton also said that while these workers might face fines or litigation, they have the support of lawyers who will work “pro-bono”. Paxton said,

“Numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.”

State Senator Jose Rodriguez publicly disagreed with Paxton’s statement, saying, “The Attorney General has crossed the line in advising local public officials, who are not his clients, that they are not bound by the U.S. Constitution…he has erred grievously in giving them unsolicited advice that may subject them to liability in both their individual and official capacity, and could result in their removal from office for failure to uphold the law.”

Texas is not unique in its resistance to change. Louisiana and Mississippi have also tried to deny marriage licenses to gay couples. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood issued a statement Friday saying that the Supreme Court’s decision wasn’t “immediately effective”, but retracted his statement Monday. Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell shared a similar sentiment to that of Jim Hood’s and said that nothing indicates the decision is effective immediately.

Although the supreme court has legalized gay marriage, the nation remains divided and even the law cannot bridge the gap of inequality and prejudice.

-Nishat Baig