Same-sex marriage advocates rally outside Texas Capitol
Four days after the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling legalizing gay marriage advocates rallied outside the capitol in Austin. They are speaking out against some of the state's top leaders and their opposition to the high court's ruling.
"The opinion we are seeing is political theater," said Chuck Smith with Equality Texas.
"While this is a celebration I have some harsh words for our leaders. We are deeply disappointed in our governor, attorney general and lt. governor who say the freedom to marry threatens religious freedom," said Kathy Miller, the president of Texas Freedom Network.
Jim Obergefell, a named plaintiff in the Supreme Court ruling, traveled to Texas to take part in the rally.
"Our love is equal," said Obergefell who is still trying to soak in the historic decision he was a part of.
"This is a victory that's been a long time coming," said Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign. Griffin hopes to harness the momentum and push for a federal comprehensive non-discrimination bill.
Griffin says all Texas counties should issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The call to action comes just one day after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion telling clerks they didn't have to if it violates their religious beliefs.
Texas Values Executive Director Jonathan Saenz stands by and supports the attorney general's opinion. He's ready to assist those who may face legal consequences.
"We're not going to wavier one bit. The First Amendment protects religious freedom and that's not ending in Texas today," said Saenz who anticipates what he describes as more attacks on religious freedom.
Obergefell says he's disgusted by Paxton's opinion. "We live in a country that promises equal justice under the law. That's what our constitution says. For any legislative body or government official to come up with ways to deny a citizen's rights especially when those rights are affirmed by the Supreme Court is inexcusable," said Obergefell.
The ACLU in Texas set up a hotline and is asking same sex couples seeking a marriage license to call if they run into any problems.