Texas judge Dianne Hensley is trying to use a recent Supreme Court ruling to justify her refusal to perform same-sex marriages.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a web designer could not be forced to craft messages that violated her beliefs about same-sex couples.
In a brief filed in state court, the judge argued if the Supreme Court based its ruling on First Amendment grounds rather than state law, that should apply to her lawsuit as well: "Its holding is nonetheless instructive because it rejects the idea of a ‘compelling interest’ in forcing wedding vendors to participate in same-sex and opposite-sex marriage ceremonies on equal terms”.
Hensley is waging a public battle against the State Commission on Judicial Conduct since the state agency warned and sanctioned her about refusing to perform same-sex marriages since 2019.
According to Hensley, the Judicial Conduct Commission’s warning “substantially burdened the free exercise of her religion, with no compelling justification”.
One year ago, President Biden already warned: "They are going to go after the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage". Sadly, he was right. The new conservative supermajority (appointed by Trump) could change game's rules again.