TEXAS: Clerk Won’t Issue Licenses

Yesterday Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton declared that clerks can refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Today we’ve got our first taker.

Trinity County Clerk Shasta Bergman issued a statement Monday that said she will not issue licenses to same-sex couples for religious reasons and as a matter of conscience. “However on the heels of the Supreme Court decision, my staff and I have worked out a solution that works for each person’s religious freedoms as well as other personal beliefs and opinions,” Bergman said. “After checking with each deputy clerk in order to get their individual perspectives on this issue and to ensure that any decision was not going to trample the rights of any clerk by delegating the duty to someone who held the same religious beliefs as myself.” Bergman said as a result of the meeting between her and her staff, they have concluded that all marriage licenses will be given by appointment only to make sure no clerk is in a position to go against his or her beliefs, and no citizens are denied their rights to be provided with a marriage license. According to Bergman, there will be clerks available to issue licenses to same-sex couples, and there will be clerks that will not issue the licenses because of religious convictions.

Trinity County is near Houston and has a population of 14K. (Tipped by JMG reader Gene)

  • Elaygee

    Sue them. Fire them for refusing.

    • OrliJoe in Fla

      Hit them hard in the pocketbook, both the County and the employee personally responsible.

    • lattebud

      I don’t know if firing them or making them issue a marriage license to a gay couple would be more painful

      • RaygunsGoZap

        First, make them issue a marriage license to a gay couple. Then, fire them for their earlier refusals. They can sit at home and mull over which of their decisions was the worse.

  • Chris

    No no no no no, fuck your “individual perspectives”. Not when it comes to people’s civil rights, and not when the public/government is paying your wage.

    Comply with the law of the land, do your job, or leave.
    It’s that simple.

    • Lawerence Collins

      How long before racist start using religious freedom, Asa way not to serve Black people?!

    • David Walker

      At least Cleburne County Clerk Dana Guffey in Arkansas said she will resign rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (Quote from The Advocate) At least she’s honest about, which is more than can be said for Miss Shasta.

      • BobSF_94117

        Her report is in Texasese, so I could be wrong, but I don’t think Ms. Shasta objects to SSM. Just some of her staff does.

        • BlueberriesForMe

          Nope, it’s her and I can assume some of the other people who work there.

          “Trinity County Clerk Shasta Bergman
          issued a statement Monday that said *SHE* will not issue licenses to
          same-sex couples for religious reasons and as a matter of conscience.”

          • BobSF_94117

            Thanks for the info. As I indicated, I can’t make heads or tails of what she said:

            “After checking with each deputy clerk in order to get their individual
            perspectives on this issue and to ensure that any decision was not going to trample the rights of any clerk by delegating the duty to someone who held the same religious beliefs as myself.”

          • GayEGO

            Well her job is going down the hopper! :>)

            ,| | | |

          • GayEGO

            Well, this is a civil institution where church and state must be kept separate. Civil jobs paid by taxpayers require obeying civil laws, not religious beliefs which are invalid.

      • GayEGO

        Well said!

    • Duh-David

      Separate, but equal?

      “I’m sorry, you’ll have to go see Bobby Jo in line 5, she takes care of the homers; I’m a Christian.”
      “Oh, Bobby Jo called in sick today, sorry, you’ll have to come back.”

      “And you can use the drinking fountain in the basement, it’s just as nice as the one right next to you.”

      • Nychta

        Yeah, I even pictured separate entrances to the building.

    • VodkaAndPolitics

      Soemthing that nobody is talking about here is that now individual deputy clerks must declare their willingness to issue marriage licenses to gay couples to their boss, making them Godless heathens in her eyes, and potential targets for workplace discrimination.

      • I hadn’t thought about that. Good point.

      • RLK2

        You are right. They may feel intimidated or threatened in the workplace.

      • Queequeg

        Good point.

      • GayEGO

        She needs to be terminated because her salary is paid by Texas taxpaying citizens which includes LGBTs. Religious views are invalid in civil institutions because church and state must be kept separate.

    • vorpal

      She likely just wants to be bitterly persecuted so that someone will start a GoFundieMe campaign to raise money so that she doesn’t have to work.

    • Rambie

      Agreed, can someone refuse to issue a marriage license to a straight couple or a interracial couple because of “individual perspectives”? No, they’d get fired, just as this ass-hat should.

    • fuzzybits

      Totally agree. Putting this here in case anyone wants to send their thoughts. http://www.co.trinity.tx.us/default.aspx?Trinity_County/County.Clerk2

  • Richard

    So can services be refused to any tax paying citizen of Texas? If a clerk has religiosity objections to mixed faith marriages or mixed race marriages or fat people marrying thin people, can all these people be told to come back when a more liberal clerk is on duty.
    No, I didn’t think so. Just the gay taxpaying citizens of Texas right?

    • b

      They only suddenly find religion when they see us. Every other sinner gets a license. They see gay, and they suddenly have a religious objection. Until then, they were blind.

      • Prion

        Hmmm. Looks like teh gay has brought more people to jeebus than the pope! I think we’re being used!!

        • GC

          Fox News has nothing but condemnation for the Pope, now that he’s spoken out on the reality of climate change!

          • clay

            and they ignore that the Pope was speaking about the moral issue of climate change.

          • D. J.

            Even though Pope PR-I threw in that dig at our trans brothers & sisters?

      • MikeBoston

        I hope they will be quizzing couples to make sure they’ve never been divorced, haven’t eaten shellfish or worn items made of mixed or unnatural fibers. I encourage all same sex couples in the area to appear for a license, be denied and then sue these ridiculous assholes for damages.

        • b

          The lying is the worst. Cannot they be truthful? “We don’t want to help form gay families.” Just be honest. It is in the Ten Commandments. Honesty is the best policy. It is not a religious objection.

        • StSean

          and no tattoos!

          • Bad Tom

            Or haircuts.

        • BradCav

          And no menstruating women!

      • lymis

        “Until then, they were blind.”

        Still are.

      • Steverino

        It is precisely that hypocrisy that exposes this for the animus that it is.

      • B Snow

        Time to start sharing this article around again. http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html

        • Ginger Snap

          That was amazing, thank s for posting this.

        • Ginger Snap

          I just sent the link to Linda Harvey with the following message.

          Hi Linda,

          I know you have disgust for anyone not like you but I think this may help you understand what it’s like to be different. I hope you chose to read the link and it helps you heal your heart.

          • Ginger Snap

            This was her reply to me.

            Linda Harvey2:01 PM (3 hours ago)

            to me


            Oh, the judgment in your comments! Why do you care about what I think?

            My heart is just fine, and I am very comfortable with many people who are “different” from me. Are you comfortable with that?

            Apparently you dislike me and those who describe the “difference” you embrace as not difference but sin. That’s a huge distinction, and my heart understands that, because I love God who made me and you.

            Hopefully you will come to love God too and be grateful and stop fighting His wondrous creation.

    • Herald

      Many of them think so. The updated map of Texas counties refusing to issue marriage licenses to all is revealing and distressing. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20150626-interactive-map-how-texas-counties-are-handling-same-sex-marriage-licenses.ece

  • ColdDesert

    If you want to parade your religious freedom, go be a minister no a civil servant. Also, reading between the lines here, I feel like the head clerk imposed her beliefs on her subordinates simply as a fact of her position as a superior.

    • David Walker

      If she wrote a book, she’d probably make her underlings buy it.

      • D. J.

        She must have met Eugene Delgado at some Republican function.

        • David Walker

          It would certainly explain her “I can do whatever the fuck I want on taxpayer time” attitude.

    • clay

      Yeah, I bet the first person to mutter, “Or we could all just do our job,” gets written up for attitude.

  • tn787

    They aren’t denying licenses. They have come up with a fairly reasonable solution to make sure people can get their licenses while still allowing people to go with their conscience. I know I’m in the minority opinion here, but I agree with this. Gay marriage wasn’t legal when they took their positions. Their job description has now changed, and they shouldn’t be forced out and lose their employment because of their beliefs. I think they’re idiots, and I think they are wrong, but that doesn’t mean they should be forced to go against their beliefs if they truly feel that way. Forcing people to accept us will only create a backlash. As silly as I and many other people think religion is, it doesn’t matter. These people truly believe in all their heart that they are doing the right thing. We can’t change everyone.

    • b

      It is bigotry. They serve other “sinners.” They freely give licences to people in a second marriage. Jesus was silent on gays, but said a second marriage was living in adultery. They serve everyone, without any “conscience” about their religion in every single instance, except us. So no, they are assholes, not religious-minded. Because public servants are just that — public servants. They knew that when they took the job. They knew. So no, they are just plain old bigots.

      • tn787

        It’s not for anyone else to say if they are doing their religion the right way. That’s the whole point. There are over 1000 denominations of Christianity. You can’t say they aren’t “religious minded” because you really don’t know that. And no, they didn’t know any of this when they took the job. Gay marriage was illegal in Texas until the other day.

        • b

          It’s bigotry. Public servants serve all of the public. They are servants to the public, not masters. They see gay, and not suddenly can see God. No, they are not suddenly having a flash of religion, they are having a flash of bigot.

          They never had biblical beliefs in doing their job before. They served EVERYONE. Why the sudden change? Gays and bigotry.

          • tn787

            I’ve already responded to every point you’re making. You’re choosing to keep repeating yourself instead of actually reading my words. I’m not interested in arguing with you.

          • b

            It’s not an argument. It’s a discussion. And your opinions are not a one-way street.

            Just like the clerk’s job, and official function: they don’t judge sins — they serve all comers. When they do their jobs correctly; or they resign.

        • Wynter Marie Starr

          Every christian group will acknowledge that the bible says divorce is against the rules. If you are so christian that you can’t service gay people (who are tax payers paying this twat’s salary) but you service the divorced and those that are remarrying and those that are visibly pregnant, no you aren’t religious minded, you are a fucking bigot,

          • tn787

            I’ve already responded to a similar comment someone else made. You can’t tell someone if they are doing their religion correctly. That’s the whole point of freedom of religion. You can think they’re dumb all you want though.

          • b

            If they can judge me by not doing their public job based on religious practices, I can certainly judge their religious objections. They brought religion to the public table. So yes, I can judge their religious practice. I can judge if they are practicing their religion properly. They are not practicing their religion appropriately. Not when I pay taxes, hired you, and can fire you.

          • b

            Comments someone else made! I’m right here, in this thread. So stop with the passive-aggressive bullshit. “Someone is floating around here, somewhere in the ether-world.” No buddy, right here, in this very thread. It’s not an argument, it is discussion. You don’t like it, but it is only discussion.

          • tn787

            I was speaking to someone else, and telling them I responded to another comment. WTF is your problem? You are truly crazy. Maybe you should go see a doctor.

          • b

            You are a passive-aggressive.

          • geoffalnutt

            Not ‘dumb’…’hateful’. Fixed it.

          • timncguy

            issuing a license has nothing at all to do with participating or honoring or celebrating a marriage anymore than issuing a fishing license means you’re going on a fishing trip with the person you issued it to.

            If you want to talk about performing a civil ceremony, that might be different. But, issuing a license is nothing.

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            I agree, I can’t and won’t tell someone they are doing their religion right or wrong. However, if a clerk doesn’t object to the divorced, the pregnant getting married, the interracial, or whatever else goes against the rules of their flavor of faith, and ONLY has a problem with gays, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what is happening. Those that refuse to acknowledge that hypocrisy can color themselves equally hypocritical.

          • oikos

            No one cares if they are doing their religion correctly, only their jobs which are taxpayer funded.

          • oikos

            No one cares if they are doing their religion correctly, only their jobs which are taxpayer funded. If they don’t want to serve all of the public, they can resign.

          • D. J.

            They should resign.

          • oikos

            or be fired

          • D. J.

            If their bigotry and stupidity interferes with their job performance we can do more than think about them. We can DO something about them.

        • oikos

          They don’t work for a fucking church. They work for the public, the taxpayers, all of them, not just a special group of fuckwits known as christains.

        • Mark Cross

          “Gay marriage wasn’t legal when they took their positions. Their job description has now changed, and they shouldn’t be forced out and lose their employment because of their beliefs…Gay marriage was illegal in Texas until the other day.”
          First of all, a reasonable expectation for the job description of being a clerk is to accept the fact that the definition of marriage has evolved and will continue to do so: I can see the day coming, perhaps 50 years from now, for example, when marriage in this country may allow more than 2 consenting adults. Any clerk who doesn’t know or who cannot accept that the definition of civil marriage is dynamic, and periodically expands to allow marginalized groups to participate in it is 1) negligent and/or 2) ignorant.
          Second, part of the job decription of being a clerk, and a reasonable expectation of that post, is to stay abreast of current events with regard to potential changes in the definition of marriage. A clerk can reasonably be expected to be more up-to-date than the typical citizen with regard to expansions of the definition of marriage. Certainly, then, no clerk in this entire country of ~3,000 counties can reasonably claim to have been taken by surprise over the national debate over same-sex marriage. Yes, it was illegal in Texas just the other day, but any clerk worth his or her salt knew the change was potentially on the horizon, and can reasonably be expected to have been ready to accept it or leave. Her “damsel in distress”/”Daniel in the lions’ den” routine isn’t terribly original.
          So, in my opinion, Shasta Bergman and her ilk are not doing their jobs, and should seek employment in a field that is less subject to change. Perhaps mining for rare elements on a comet somewhere in the Asteroid Belt.

          • RoFaWh

            “Their job description has now changed.”

            Sheer bullshit. Did it say, before, “issues marriage licenses to straight couples”? No? Thought not. It probably said “issues marriage licenses”, and that’s all anybody expects them to do when a same-sex couple comes in for one.

            Stop grandstanding, you little twat, and do your fucking job. You aren’t earning any brownie points with anybody with this stunt.

            PS: Hope you have lots of money stashed away to pay damages to plaintiffs.

        • lymis

          “It’s not for anyone else to say if they are doing their religion the right way.”

          No, but it certainly is for taxpayers to say whether they are doing their JOB the right way.

        • canoebum

          Everyone who has a job must deal with changing requirements. It’s part of working life. The fact that no gay couples were allowed licenses when the clerks were first employed is COMPLETELY irrelevant! The job duties have changed. Incorporate the changes into your work or find another job. That’s the way it is. Period. Stop being an apologist for these bigots.

        • D. J.

          They should explore opportunities in becoming self employed. Maybe an Ostrich Farm would be a suitable fit.

        • BobSF_94117

          Gay marriage was illegal in Texas until the other day.

          And until recently there were no Muslims in the town, or Jews, or mixed couples.

          So? Exemptions for them, too?

          Or is it — as usual — just us?

        • Eric in Oakland

          It doesn’t really matter if they have a sincere religious objection or not. Many people also had sincere religious objects to racial integration when it became mandated. The government is simply not allowed to establish a religious preference or test. Whether they like it or not, government employees in the performance of their duties ARE the government.

        • b

          And remember, asshole: conservative Christians have judged the religious practices of gay Christians, and have said gay Christians cannot practice their faith under law. Gay Christian practices do not matter to conservatives. So we are talking BIGOT.

    • Wynter Marie Starr

      So, if I’m a pagan and I really think that christians are evil, can I opt out of teaching their children? How about if I’m a christian, can I opt out of teaching the children of gays? How about if I own the only gas station in town; can I opt out of selling gas to those queers because they may be using the gas to drive to get gay married? How about if I work in a bank and believe with all my heart all Muslims are terrorists, can I refuse to open accounts for them?

      Jobs change all the time. It’s the nature of life and of culture. Imagine if we all got to not do the parts of the job we don’t agree with? No, the better solution here is to fire those that won’t comply. Providing and processing a license is not participating in a marriage, it’s pushing paperwork.

      These people work for US. WE pay their salary, not the church. We are not an interruption to their day, we are the reason for their day. If you can’t do an aspect of your job, you should take a pay cut, or be fired.

      • tn787

        The examples you provided cause actual harm to people. What this county is doing doesn’t actually hurt anyone. They can all still get licenses and since it’s by appointment only, people won’t even know. They figured out how to have it both ways and I don’t have any objection to it.

        • Wynter Marie Starr

          Right, because there hasn’t been any harm to the gay community. The fact is these people are still not doing the job that they are being paid for. Pushing paperwork for gay people is not approval and those who think it is need to have their jobs redefined. If you think people won’t know the reason for this, think again, or at least use some common sense. When you call for your appointment, why should anyone have to disclose the gender of the person they are marrying? They are getting married, that’s all a clerk needs to know.

          • b

            They always were liberals before gay marriage. “I don’t judge, God judges.” They were happy as clams to serve everyone, until gay marriage. No, it is bigotry.

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            I agree.

        • Blake Jordan

          Then racists, sexists, etcetera need their right to discriminate as well.

        • timncguy

          having to make an appointment for a time when it is convenient for the clerk does cause harm. What if the only “appointment” time is when you have to work? Do you have to lose pay in order to get your license while the clerks are getting full pay for only doing parts of their jobs?

          • lymis

            It’s also a very slick way to cover up discrimination.

            “Sorry, we’re all full up that day. We have an opening on Tuesday, would you like that?”

            How do you know whether or not straight couples are still getting appointments? What about when the only person who is willing to speak to the Untouchables calls in sick or goes on vacation?

          • D. J.

            Or the gay couple is asked to name each and every clerk in each and every county in Texas?

          • canoebum

            What if the only appointment available is three months out? Or four months? I can easily see long delays in granting appointments as a tactic to “stick it to the queers”. Count on it.

        • BobSF_94117

          people won’t even know

          No, everyone will know. Everyone will know why they have to make an appointment. Gays. Getting. Married.

    • Blake Jordan

      Jobs evolve, time for them to find new ones, if they can no longer do it properly!!!

    • Sean Williams

      “trample the rights”…gay people are now attempting to trample the rights of good christians. This is thinly veiled hate speech and I won’t tolerate any of it.

      • tn787

        Wow, I honestly thought I could have a normal conversation with people about an issue that is important to all of us. Obviously I was wrong. Most of you are lunatics. Joe, your commenters are freaking crazy.

        • timncguy

          actually. most people are asking you through various examples how you justify the bias against same-sex couples without also accepting similar bias against many other types of individuals. You can’t claim one bias is accepted at work while others wouldn’t be tolerated.

        • Gustav2

          No, we are tired of Evangelicals determining who is an American and who is not. Determining what is in the Constitution according to their particular religious beliefs. And we are tired of their hands in taxpayers’ wallets but refusing citizens services and access.

          • McSwagg

            I remember tn787 playing the martyr card last week over our refusal to accept ‘reasonable discrimination’.

        • Wynter Marie Starr

          Right, we’re the lunatics because we expect people to follow the laws of the land and do the jobs they are paid to do. BTW, where I come from, calling someone crazy is a bit of a compliment that basically means you shouldn’t fuck with that person.

          • Gustav2

            How dare you expect representatives of the government follow the law!

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            I know! I’m just a privileged princess for expecting that. Also unreasonable.

          • McSwagg

            You’re not crazy, at least in the derogatory way tn787 means it. S/he was here last week doing the same thing, arguing in favor of ‘reasonable discrimination’.

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            How the hell can there be reasonable discrimination? The metal leaps that must be made by those who think that way must be exhausting. I knew the poster was attempting to be insulting, not just to me, but to all of us. I refuse to be insulted by people I don’t respect. It really doesn’t affect me.

            I have to wonder about such people. I always wonder if they have ever had a hard moment due to just being who they are and being hated for it. I have to wonder why and how they were able to reach adulthood without one ounce of empathy. I pity them, but at the same time I wish they’d just grow up. Or go away.

          • NedFlaherty

            Never forget where the idea of legalized bigotry originated.

            The Roman Catholic leaders in the Vatican coined the terms “unjust discrimination” and “justified discrimination” while campaigning to write religious superstitions into civil laws.

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            This is something I didn’t know about, Ned. Although, it doesn’t shock or surprise me. Time line?

            I think most things like this boil down to money and power.

          • NedFlaherty

            The Vatican insists that discrimination based on sexual orientation is justified, an the proof is seen in the official Catholic Church Catechism, paragraph 2358.

            For at least 23 years, U.S. bishops have been ordered to oppose all civil laws that protect LGBT people, including people of other faiths and people of no faith.




          • Wynter Marie Starr

            Thanks so much for the links, Ned. Skimming them has made me ill, however. That so called people of god think this way based on a book that is taken out of historical and cultural context is sickening. Every day I’m grateful for being an atheist. I have no ready made excuse to hate people and if I find myself hating, I have to take responsibility and figure out what is wrong with me.

        • lymis

          Many of us have also been subject to this sort of stealth discrimination all our lives and see how it’s likely to play out.

          They are allowing government employees to see taxpaying citizens as worthy of discrimination. That’s wrong.

        • Ninja0980

          You are trying to make excuses for discrimination and people not doing their jobs.
          You aren’t going to met with applause for that.

        • b

          Crazy is barring someone from marriage with no single, rational argument. Requiring an appointment for no reason is crazy. What’s the reason! NO REASON is the very definition of a nut. That would be you.

    • leastyebejudged

      They took an oath of office to follow the law.

      They should be fired if they refuse to do that job.

      It really IS that simple.

      It isn’t about changing anyone.

    • timncguy

      People’s job descriptions change all the time inside or outside of the government. So what? Is it just government workers that you believe should be allowed to object to new job functions without consequences or should that work in the private sector as well?

    • timncguy

      so, when you call up for your appointment, there will be a list of questions to answer:
      Is this a gay marriage?
      Are you both of the same race?
      What is your religion?
      Are you both of the same religion?
      What is the age difference between you?
      If you’re straight, is the woman younger than the man?
      If you’re gay, is the top older than the bottom?
      If you’re straight, will the man be “the king of his castle” as the Bible demands and the woman be submissive to her husband’s will?
      If you’re gay, will the top be in control?
      Have either of you been married before?
      Did you have pre-marital sex?
      Are either of you currently pregnant?
      Are you currently living together?
      Is either of you infertile?
      Do you plan to procreate?

      Based on your answers, Betty is the only clerk that will be willing to issue you a license and she is on medical leave right now. She’ll be back in a month. I hope that won’t cause you any harm or inconvenience. But, it would cause grave harm to any of the other clerks to have to issue you a license. Would you like to book that appointment now, because her schedule is filling up?

    • The Professor

      If they worked it all out in the office and everybody was happy and it was all fine, why contact the media and tell the story? Because she wants to be another Christian martyr for ADF. Watch it play out…

    • MonochromeMouse

      if your job suddenly conflicts with your religious views then you either quit your job so someone who can actually do it can take your place or you stop whining and do the goddamn job you are being paid to do, there is no middle ground in this. bigotry is bigotry even if someone’s sincerely held religious beliefs say it isn’t

    • oikos

      “Their job description has now changed, and they shouldn’t be forced out and lose their employment because of their beliefs.”
      WRONG-their job description has NOT changed. Their job is to serve the public, all of the public including gay people, whose taxes pay their salaries.

      • stuckinthewoods

        Agreed. I’m baffled by someone who thinks that doing forms for one set of clients is a different job than filing the same forms for another couple. There is no change in “job description”. The action on the part of the clerk is identical.

      • lymis

        And if Adam, Eve, Amy and Steve walked in the door as a group, they’d be perfectly fine doing the EXACT same paperwork in EVERY respect if they coupled up as two opposite sex couples. Every single checkmark, every single piece of data, every single piece of paper handled, every single ID checked. Every single person spoken to and every question asked identical.

        So, since the exact same job would be done exactly the same way with exactly the same people with exactly the same result, how does how the couples pair up make this a matter of religious belief?

    • lymis

      They’d better be quizzing every single applicant on their sexual orientation. The inappropriate and intrusive questions that aren’t required by law had better not be limited to gay couples.

      And this “appointment” thing had better not be a cover for delaying anyone’s license.

      If they have 100 openings every day for these appointments, but only 10 that a same-sex couple can get served during, then the 11th same-sex couple had better not be pushed off until the next day when straight couples march right to the head of the line.

    • lymis

      Here’s the thing. These people are being asked to check ID, review documentation, and process paperwork. Unless they’re Amish and can’t use a computer, nothing they’re being asked to do has anything to do with their religion, and if they are religiously able to do it for a straight couple, it can’t violate their religion to do it for a gay couple.

      What you’re saying is that it’s okay for an Orthodox Jew who issues business licenses for their town to turn down the business license for a pork barbecue restaurant, because they wouldn’t be willing to eat there. But nobody’s asking them to eat there. They are asking them to review paperwork and hit print. Some of them may be asked to be a witness in a legal ceremony and document that they observed a consensual legal commitment.

      A clerk at a county courthouse should be allowed to refuse a wedding invitation without repercussions. They should be able to choose who they have sex with and under what circumstances. They should be free to worship at the appropriate times and places in accordance with their own beliefs.

      But they cannot be allowed to choose whether or not they will do the job they’ve been paid to do just because they disapprove of what the citizens who come into their office do in their private time.

      • GC


    • Ninja0980

      No, it is bigotry, pure and simple.
      A government office is NOT a church and if you can’t put aside your religious beliefs to do your SECULAR job, then resign.

    • D. J.

      I don’t see this as a “fairly reasonable solution” at all. It is a stealth cover for bigotry.
      Statutes change all the time. Clerical duties change accordingly. When TN instituted vehicle emissions inspections (a PITA) not a single clerk refused to process the extra paper.
      How many years did it take the public to get rid of those damn mobile speed cameras?
      When my relatives died not a single clerk gave two shits what religion or sexual orientation they were when they collected their estate taxes. or property taxes, or car tags, or driver’s license, or fishing licenses.
      There is no discrimination on paying gasoline taxes, etc, etc, etc……..

    • Stev84

      And blacks had no right to complain because they could just go to another establishment that was all for themselves.

      All these clowns do is fill out paperwork and print a license. That’s it. If that’s too much for them they are unfit for ANY job.

    • D. J.

      I’m not seeing separate lines suggested for Dominionists, Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, Universalists, Pagans, Humanists, Jews, Agnostics and/or Athiests. There are certainly differences in “sincerely held beliefs” among those.
      Their job has not changed. They were issuing marriage licenses before and they are issuing marriage licenses now. The licenses issued to same sex couples don’t say “Gay Marriage License” on them, do they?

    • BobSF_94117

      Unless issuing marriage licenses is a heck of a lot more hands-on than I imagine, no Christian religious rule is broken by accepting a piece of paper and stamping it.

    • RoFaWh

      “Separate but equal” is inherently unequal.

    • McSwagg

      1. The job description has not really changed. I’m sure it read something like “issue marriage licenses to all eligible applicants in accordance with state laws…” See, just follow the law in the least restrictive manner. If you do not restrict people from conducting other business freely without specific appointments, you may not do so in the issuing of marriage licenses. The only time ‘appointments’ would be necessary and appropriate is if you are dealing with an issue that requires special skills or knowledge on the part of the public employee.

      2. “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

      3. Marriage licenses have a ‘window of validity’. The County Clerks can use that to throw a wrench of uncertainty into the wedding planning process of gay couples.

      4. Any personal information beyond that required by the state to complete the application is illegal and improper. If there is not a question on the state form asking if the marriage will be a ‘gay marriage’, then it is improper and illegal for the County Clerk to ask. (I know, I put ‘gay marriage’ in quotes because it is just marriage now.)

      5. You may require advance notice only if it is essential to the processing of the application, not for the convenience of the public employee.

      I remember filling out job applications in my teens that required three references. The first reference was REQUIRED to be your PASTOR. It was a sly way to practice discrimination against anyone not of the dominant faith in the community. I know these types of people. They are carefully crafting their schemes to impose their own criteria in place of state law. We cannot give them that chance.

  • Andy King

    I like that she considers a religious excuse valid only if they have “the same religious beliefs as [her]self”.

    Does a Muslim have to sell alcohol at a supermarket? Does a Sihk have to sell scissors and hair dye? Does a Hindu have to sell hamburger? Does a Mormon have to pour coffee? Either we allow religious beliefs of the individual determine what services they allow themselves to provide for others, or we don’t.

    Considering Christians don’t have a constitutional right to get the Sabbath off (and that’s a commandment!) I’m positive that they don’t have a right to not do their jobs. If they want to opt out of providing marriage license altogether, that’s fine to me. Discrimination is not.

    • lymis

      There needs to be some distinction between these questions asked in the commercial marketplace and these questions asked in the context of taxpayer funded government employees who serve the public.

      it’s an important set of questions either way, but it’s a mistake to allow the same considerations to apply to the discussion.

      There may be some room for greater accommodations in the public sphere – though we as a society have long said that there isn’t, or we’d still have segregated lunch counters and hotels and pools.

      But those greater accommodations do not and cannot be allowed to apply when it’s the government doing the discriminating. And an employee of the government, acting in their capacity as an agent of the state, IS acting as the government, and simply doesn’t get the same considerations a private citizen does.

  • Lauchlan Bernard-Christopher M

    In that case Shasta , since your not prepared to do 100% of your civil employment perhaps a commensurate reduction in your salary, medical insurance and pension would be appropriate?

    • D. J.

      I’d rather they go home and collect nothing.

  • StraightSupporter

    The tax-paying citizen that they have no problems refusing should be allowed to refuse to contribute to their pay.

  • Blake Jordan

    She, and the rest of the bigot clerks, should lose their jobs immediately!!!
    People who get paid with tax money, cannot pick and choose which citizens they will serve!!!

    But failing that:
    If this TWAT has issued even one license to a couple, in which one or both have been married before, a couple that has had premarital relations, or any other christianist no no…
    FIRE her, because her religious convictions only include being anti-LGBT.

    These religious objectionists need to start asking details about the couples that apply for marriage licenses.

    • Pete N SFO

      I was on-board until ‘twat.’ Why’d you have to go & ruin a perfectly good rant with misogyny?

  • KnownDonorDad

    But how do they feel about the Negroes?

    • WiMountainBear

      …. Muslims?

      • WiMountainBear

        Shrimp eaters…

        • WiMountainBear

          People wearing polyester…

          • Baltimatt

            Polyester-wearing shrimp-eating Muslim Negroes?

          • I think we already know the answer to that question, though I must admit I can’t be sure we’ve ever seen the entire Obama family wearing polyester.

          • TreGibbs

            With tatoos…

          • bkmn

            It is summer in Houston, that would be most of them.

        • Todd20036

          Muslim shrimps?

          • clay

            I think the politically correct term is little person who happens to be Muslim.

    • lymis

      The divorced?
      Mixed- religion marriages?
      Mixed-race marriages?

      Atheists? People of “the wrong” religion?

      People who have had premarital sex?

      People who don’t plan to procreate?

      (And don’t tell me that small-town clerks can’t possibly know things like that about the people who walk into the office.)

      • lattebud

        Some of her best friends have been on Springer, Maury, Judge Judy, Steve Wilkos, etc.

    • McSwagg

      When you understand that Trinity County is in DEEP East Texas and that it has far, far more in common with Jasper, Texas where James Byrd was drug behind a truck until dead simply because he was a black man, you will know the answer to your question and all the other questions that are listed here.

  • KnownDonorDad

    Somewhat related: congratulations guys, you did it! Marriage equality AND the complete secularization of America! High fives!


    • GC

      “What has replaced defined Judaism, Christianity, Judeo-Christian values, and the Bible? The answer is: feelings. More and more Americans rely on feelings to make moral decisions.”

      There, Mr. Prager, fixed it for you.

    • JT

      What can you expect from the William F. Buckley snotrag?

      If only he had lived to see his great nephew come out as gay and a supporter of marriage equality. It would have been a pleasure to see that sanctimonious smirk tinged with pain and embarrassment.

      • gaymex

        While Gore Vidal snickered and happy danced around the room.

      • Jim E.

        Embarrassing fact: I actually once liked William F. Buckley until realized he was not being ironic.

  • geoffalnutt

    When it comes to the ghey ‘religious freedom’ always means ‘hate’. Always.

  • j.martindale


    The woman could easily have made these arrangements quietly with her co-workers and not made an issue of her “deeply held religious beliefs” (read “bigotry”) but she didn’t. She wanted a spotlight. F*ck her.

    • BearEyes

      Martyr wannabe.

    • Mark

      I’m thinking that she’s thinking that her ‘solution’ embiggens her qualifications for her campaign. Yes, it just screams miss ‘management material’…..

    • David Walker

      Bigoted bitch, thy name is Shasta.

    • Jeffrey

      Exaclty. Do you know how many work decisions I make every day without a press release? All of them.

    • Rambie

      Poor b**ch so wants to be a martyr.

  • AtticusP

    YOU get a pink slip!

    And YOU get a pink slip!

    And YOU…

    • lattebud

      Get a whoop ass case of litigation

  • Baltimatt

    Does she issue marriage licenses to saved people marrying unsaved people?

    14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

    II Corinthians 6:14

    Basically, there is no reason to get married if you have a living ex-spouse.

    10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

    I Corinthians 7:10-11.

    Then there’s the whole facilitating adultery thing.

    18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    Luke 16:18

    Does she pay attention to those parts of the Bible, assuming she’s a Christian?

    Shasta Bergman

    P. O. Box 456
    Groveton, TX 75845

    Phone: 936-642-1208
    Fax: 936-642-3004

    [email protected]


    • b

      They don’t really follow the bible. They just brag about following the bible. To follow the bible, in all its bullshit, would be highly immoral.

  • Mark

    Which one of them won’t serve those who’ve been divorced?

    • JT

      White Aryans: I refuse to serve blacks because of my religious beliefs.

      • McSwagg

        This county is in DEEP east Texas. You have hit the nail squarely on the head.

  • Strepsi
    • What?

      She may not be Jewish – Texas has a lot of Christian German-Americans with the names people associate with Jews. But, if she is, yeah, that would be an example of nerve.

    • B Snow

      Actually, I was thinking of Ingrid and Ingmar, so maybe she’s Swedish?

  • Baltimatt

    “Personally, same-sex marriage is a contradiction to my faith and belief that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Denton County Clerk Juli Luke said in a statement Sunday, according to the the Denton Record-Chronicle. “However, first and foremost, I took an oath on my family Bible to uphold the law, and as an elected public official, my personal belief cannot prevent me from issuing the licenses as required.”

    Thank you, Juli Luke.


    • lymis

      That’s a religious accommodation I can accept. As long as she’s not saying it directly to the face of the couple who applies for the license.

    • Herald

      The others need to listen to her not Paxton!

    • zhera

      How refreshing! A public official, willing to do the work she’s being paid for.

    • B Snow

      See? How difficult was that? I know there are intelligent religious people out there, and she’s a great example.

      • Circ09

        Don’t give her too much credit. Juli Luke spent all day Friday being obstinate. It took having her name plastered all over during the weekend & a lot of negative local attention for her to come to her senses.

        • B Snow

          Thanks for the background. I should have known it was too good to be taken at face value. :

  • Gustav2

    Ring, Ring.
    “Trinity County Clerks office, if you are heterosexual press 1, if you are homosexual press 2. Please excuse us if you press 2 and your wait is significantly longer.”

  • Jen

    Realistically, what she is saying is that the gay couples have to make an appointment. since none of her clerks are “gay marriage license only” clerks, as long as any clerks are at work that day a straight couple can be accommodated immediately making an appointment unnecessary or a ridiculous formality to keep up appearances of non discrimination.

    How much screaming would a straight couple do if they walked in and asked for a license and were told that the only clerk available only works on gay marriage licenses so they will be helped next tuesday at 10 am when the straight license clerks are back from vacation….

    This is not a compromise or any way to serve your public from your civil office. I’d like to know what other government offices will be able to ask someone “hey are you gay or straight so I can make the right kind of appointment for you” before rendering service? 911? Can they ask so they can send the gay friendly fireman? Police? Can they ask before responding to your burglary in case they might have to deal with a married gay couple? This is ridiculous.

    • PeterC

      And, illegal.

    • D. J.

      Would you like to make an appointment?
      Yes, I can be there in 15 minutes.

      • McSwagg

        “What are your office hours? 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday? Thank you.”

        Appointment made!

  • Lauchlan Bernard-Christopher M

    Just another couple of thoughts,
    Firstly I’m surprised your Human Resources dept hasn’t been on the phone telling you to STFU. You’re giving employees the option to vary their work contract according to their” beliefs and opinions”? That’s going to bite you on the arse , ” I’ll do this,this , and this, but i won’t do that!” And “but it’s my personal belief and opinion to sit naked at my desk” , frivolous I know but there’s a serious point underneath.
    Secondly , you’re not an unwilling celebrant , or participant in the transgression of whatever celestial jiggery-pokery ( thanks Scalia) you wish to believe .You are merely the recorder of a piece of information and the handing over of a piece of paper, you’re no more relevant than the envelope enclosing someones utility bill. Get over yourself .

    • Gustav2

      Talk about ‘union rules’ Now are Republicans going to go after these lazy government workers?

    • Marides48

      Apparently, she’s an elected county official. So her deeply held religious beliefs mean she can only serve Republicans? I guess she can refuse service to atheists, Jews, Muslims etc.

  • Baltimatt

    Here’s another one:

    “I’m standing up for my religious liberty,” said Hood County Clerk Katie Lang, who said her office would not give out same-sex marriage licenses on religious grounds. “I do believe that marriage is for one man and one woman because it did derive from the Bible.”


    What about those other prohibitions mentioned in the Bible? (See below.)


    Katie Lang
    County Clerk

    email: [email protected]

    P.O. Box 339

    Granbury, TX 76048

    Ph: (817) 579-3222

    • grada3784

      Klan G?

      • Baltimatt

        Wow, didn’t catch that! 😀

    • JT

      This woman seems to think that there were no marriages in cultures not connected to her bible. Another instance of the ignorance of these people.

    • Robin

      “Katie Lang”? Oh, the irony!

    • D. J.

      Katie Lang,
      I do not worship at your feet. Issue my fucking license.
      Screw you and have a lousy day.
      J. Q. Public
      Hood, TX (add’l irony)

    • People4Humanity

      I posted above, but just so you see this letter yesterday from Texas state Senator Rodney Ellis to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, requesting “the full weight of DoJ assistance with marriage in Texas:

      • McSwagg

        Rodney Ellis has been a long time ally to our community in Texas. He is black, so he knows from personal experience how these issues are likely to play out in Texas if Paxton’s opinion is followed. This is the first step in enforcing the decision of the Supreme Court.

  • JT

    Perhaps you should ask if applicants are divorced. “What god has joined together …” Or did you stop reading your bible when it did not serve your prejudices?

    • lymis

      Actually, unlike sexual orientation, the HAVE to ask if the applicants are divorced, because if they are, the applicant has to list any previous married names AND provide proof of divorce, like a copy of the divorce decree.

      Or at least, they did when we got married.

      • Menergy

        True. And even more biblical – the clerks should of course have to refuse to proceed with the paperwork, since divorce is biblically worthy of stoning etc…..says so right that in the Good Book./snark

      • McSwagg

        Thus there is a legitimate legal state interest for the question. The necessary information cannot be obtained easily in any other manner than to ask the question. The official cannot ask any question that is not necessitated by a compelling legal state interest.

        The Supreme Court did not decide that we have rights to ‘gay marriage’, rather that we have rights to marriage (without any adjectives).

  • justmeeeee

    What do you expect from somebody named after a cheap carbonated drink?

    • Marides48

      Or a large snow covered mountain in California.

  • delk

    What does your religious beliefs say about abortion?

    How the fuck do you know if a woman wanting a license has had one?

    You are a disgusting cherry picking bigot.

    • Marides48

      Or couples that have been divorced? Another “pick & choose” christian!

  • Baltimatt
    • lymis

      Yes, but are all of the individual clerks doing so?

  • Jebus, these folks are just too precious to be bothered to DO THEIR JOBS. Fundie christians have the worst work ethic I’ve ever seen.

    “…to make sure no clerk is in a position to go against his or her beliefs…” – Now, at every job I’ve had, it was either understood as “common knowledge” of good work ethic or it was specifically listed in the company handbook, that when you come to work, you leave your personal shit at the door – But of course, some people are above the rules (and even above the law, apparently).Those people usually get shown the door.

  • Baltimatt
  • Robin

    If indeed at any given time ‘there will be clerks available’ as she implied, then why do they need the ‘appointment’? If this system were honestly rendered, then clerks of all ‘feelings’ would be required to be present as a condition for having the doors open. I call bullshit.

    • b

      The requirement for an appointment is just passive-aggressive bullshit to snub gay people. Rapists, divorcees, and every manner of sinner never needed an appointment before. Bigotry.

  • Drayfield

    Send in the National Guards and make them do their jobs!

    • gaymex

      If it takes it, yes.

    • Stev84

      Better do the usual “shoot first, ask questions later (or never)” thing just to be sure.

      • Nelson Kerr

        That would be the Police, not the National Guard.

      • McSwagg

        Why would they need to do that? Black people in east Texas know their place. [sarcasm]

        Seriously, Liberty County is not far from Jasper, Texas where James Byrd was dragged behind a pick-up truck until dead simply for being black.

  • Mike Solo

    Ector County which has Odessa in it (pop. 120k or so) right next to where I grew up in Midland, TX (pop: 130k or so) has refused to grant licenses as well.

    Edit: According to friends still there, they have set up a “special line” for same-sex couples that is different from the regular one. They will not be granted a marriage license in the regular line.

    • BearEyes


    • gaymex

      This truly can’t be allowed to continue. Your water fountain is right there and your bathroom is the one with the Q on the door.

    • lymis

      It’s wrong and must be stopped.

      However, I’d be a bit more okay with it if all the straight people were being told “We can’t issue you a license until everyone in the same-sex line has been given theirs first. Unfortunately, only Lauralee is willing to process them, so y’all may have to wait a while.”

    • Marides48

      “Separate but equal” lines to get a marriage license?
      Only in the south!

    • Can you get your friends to get a photo of that shit? I bet the ACLU would love to have it. In fact, I bet the ACLU would love to hear from your friends as well as have the photo.


    • People4Humanity

      Mike — You may wish to contact Texas state Senator Rodney Ellis, who wrote to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch yesterday, requesting “the full weight” of DOJ assistance with marriage in Texas. Here is his letter:

      • Mike Solo

        I’ve forwarded them the info as I can’t do anything in my position. I’m now a resident of Scotland, not Texas.

  • MBear

    “Yes, thank you for calling. This is the appointment line. When would like to come in? Oh…wait. This is a GAY marriage?!? Oh…our only appointments for that are between 7:02am and 7:06am on a Tuesday in 2016”

    Yeah…umm…this is not accommodating anything except her bigotry

    • lattebud

      “Ooops, that’s a staff development day. So, we will need to find another day.”

      • MBear

        well, it seems the staff are quite underdeveloped when it comes to proper socialisation, reading comprehension beyond a 3rd grade level, and basic civics…so I guess we’d need to allow them that.

      • D. J.

        In 2525?

  • BearEyes

    Dereliction of duty.
    You swore an oath to serve the public. Honour that oath and keep your personal opinions outside the civil office.

  • Just do your fucking job. Or find other work.

  • Michael Abbett

    And here I thought Mountain Dew would be the first clerk to go rogue.

  • Robincho

    Shasta la vista, bitch…

  • MDB

    Shasta, you don’t want to do yer job ????


  • CB

    Someone who is adept at photoshop or should use this photo to create something we can all share as the face of bigotry. This woman’s selective use of faith for self-aggrandizement should not stand.

  • Ninja0980

    People here know my feelings on this subject, due to the fact there is a deal like this in NY.
    And that feeling is I shouldn’t have to scedule a damn appointment with a government agency to make sure the person’s religious beliefs allow them to provide me services or not.
    Either do your civil job which is secular or resign, period.

  • Prior to Ken Paxton’s encouragement there were only 10 counties declaring that they would not issue marriage licences to all citizens of Texas (shown in red). As of last night the map below shows the situation:

    • Stev84

      The American political system is fundamentally broken. First people had to beg state for state. Now it’s county for county. Why not have it vary from city to city too? Or from street to street depending on what the neighbors think?

  • JustSayin

    So that process works how? You call to make an Appt. And have to answer sexual questions? Then get ” oh gee or next Appt for you is the tenth of never”?

    • lymis

      Every single same-sex couple calling for an appointment should have a friend call to see if an appointment is available for an opposite sex couple, and document the results.

      • customartist

        Great idea

  • customartist

    Is ignorance in the water or something?

  • John Bogeman

    Sue her, fire her…right now.

  • John Bogeman

    when do i get to assert my beliefs and refuse to do my job and still get paid? my beliefs are that i hate working and just simply don’t want to but i still want to get paid and i don’t want to get in trouble for refusing to do my job and i don’t want anyone to say anything to me and i don’t want anyone to make me feel uncomfortable. reasonable, right?

    • stuckinthewoods

      Dear child, it shall happen. If you believe in Me, ye shall be Bored Again.

    • customartist

      Yep! I have certainly had to do things for an employer that I would have preferred to not do if I had my druthers.

      These very same people do not want others to refuse service to them, but they think they can refuse service to others?
      It don’ta worka thata way.

  • Art

    Isn’t she going against her religious beliefs by participating in this “solution” which enables same sex couples to marry?

  • Bob M

    I wish my cartoon drawing skills were better… picture this… a row of windows with signs over them… each announcing who they would serve. listing the reasons why they only serve certain people

  • Mark

    Ok, so she gets points for doing the work around. At the very least, gay couples can get their license rather than have to call an attorney.

    But!! I would certainly like to know the ‘criteria’ by which they established who would serve who. The part of her statement that really bugs me is the “matter of conscience” and I’d certainly like to know how this factored into their scheduling.

    It certainly looks like she just don’t like homo’s – and is using gawd for the cover up.

    • GC

      Again, this quote is appropriate:

      “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
      (Anne Lamont, who credits her priest friend Tom)

  • StSean

    when a drone thinks she’s a queen…

  • Disqusdmnj
  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    Well the gays have already gotten their revenge–look at that hair!

  • Hue-Man

    “PERVERTS” in this (8-hour) line. “REAL PEOPLE” in the (5 minute) line.

    Separate but equal has proven to work so well in the past. Aw shucks, let’s just have a separate room for the perverts so real people don’t have to be disturbed by the sight of SIN. It’s only a coincidence that it has no air conditioning in summer or heat in winter. The single clerk has to fill out the forms on a Remington typewriter, carbon copies in quadruplicate.

  • Jan Wesselius

    If she does not to fulfill her duties as a clerk, then perhaps she should work for her church. I am sure they offer the same pay and benefits.

  • lymis

    If we as taxpaying citizens are supposed to allow government employees to be able to refuse to serve taxpayers, then they should be required to wear a button at all times that says so.

    That way the straight people can know that they’re being served by a bigot and have the option to opt out and wait for a decent human being.

    If you don’t wear the button, you have to serve the whole public or be subject to fines or dismissal.

  • MikeM

    How many clerks and deputy clerks does a county of 14,000 people need? The article makes it sound like there’s a dozen.

    • leastyebejudged

      Well, County Clerks do a lot more than just wed couples…

      • Reality.Bites

        They don’t perform weddings. They issue licenses.

  • Stubenville

    Ever eaten shellfish? Gone shopping on a Sunday? Own any blended fabric clothing? If yes to any of the above, you’re a hypocrite; the bible forbids them all.

    • customartist

      So gay public employees could indeed refuse service to persons presenting themselves wearing blended fabrics?

      • Stubenville

        IMO it would be hypocritical to cherry pick portions of the Bible like I imagine Shasha is doing.

        • customartist

          Yes hypocritical, but not Un-Christianly, evidently.

          • Stev84

            Hypocrisy is probably THE core value of Christianity.

    • leastyebejudged

      The Bible is so full of bullshit and contradiction, one wonders if there’s any better ammunition to use against it as any kind of authoritative document than itself.

  • zhera

    I’m hoping for a muslim or other type of non-christian religious person to come out and say they won’t issue marriage licenses to anyone who’s not muslim.

    Religious freedom, christers!

    • Nexus1

      It’s fun to theorize about that, but in reality no Muslim, Jewish or non Christian public official would do that. They know that it would be extremely ill received and that they would either lose their jobs or be removed from office. As minorities they know they can’t impose their religious beliefs on others, but the Christian officials feel emboldened because they are the overwhelming majority imposing themselves on a tiny minority of people. It’s disgusting and it’s cowardice and bullying personified.

  • customartist

    What if we get a Republican President in 2016? Will THAT person be allowed to not serve gays in a variety of ways? Will he/she have a meeting with the Vice President to determine which one will serve the gays? What if there is no one available to serve the gays? How can we elect someone that cannot provide equal protection?

    This should be a question in the coming debates.

    • Reality.Bites

      Every Republican president, and all but two Democratic presidents have refused to serve the gays in every possible way.

  • uhhuhh


  • uhhuhh

    You know is about martyrdom, persecution, and bigotry when they issue a press release about it. Shasta Cola wants everyone to know that she hates the gay.

  • Stev84

    And again, society bites itself in the ass by directly electing what is nothing but an administrative position in the government bureaucracy. In civilized countries, a town clerk is a hired position. But because in America they are elected, clerks think they are someone important. It really gets to their heads, even though they are little more than glorified office managers. Also because they are elected I don’t think they can actually be fired.

  • Dick518

    People with “sincerely held religious beliefs” need to
    be consistent with regard to those beliefs… what they deem immoral, a
    sin and biblically wrong; and apply those beliefs consistently
    across the board, not just cherry pick “gay marriage.” This is
    exactly what they do… Have you ever heard of a clerk refuse to issue a license for the abomination of eating shellfish? Or for a twice divorced single mother? Or someone who’s engaged in sex before marriage? Those are sincerely held religious beliefs! Those are sins in the eyes of their god, so why don’t they refuse to issue license to those people? They can’t just pick the marriage
    issue as their only sincerely held belief…

    If these clerks really held these beliefs in high moral,
    biblical regard, they wouldn’t be issuing any licenses, because they’d have to refuse to almost everyone… And in this country, with a divorce rate well over 50%, the philandering adulterers, masturbators, those who engage in sexual activity outside of
    marriage, thieves, those that covet thy neighbors wife; eating ham, pork or shellfish, those with tattoos and the town gossip, after all that, there would be very few left to issue a marriage license…

    The list of high moral “sincerely held beliefs” is
    long… And if the religious right held marriage to such an
    “institution,” then why is the divorce rate so high? There is no
    “sacred” institution of marriage, it’s a contact between two people,
    blessed by the church or done in city hall by a judge or clerk…
    These people are whackos!

  • txscotty39

    Keep it Klaaaaaaassssssssssssssssssy texassssssssssssssssssssss

  • Bill in Oakland

    Why haven’t any of these people refused to process divorces or permits for establishments selling pork or stores selling mixed-cloth clothing? If they want to live by the Bible, live it all, not just the parts they pick and choose.

  • Tor

    If she’s sued, does she realize her pro bono defense would most likely be provided by the Liberty Council?

    • William

      She doesn’t, but we do. Hee hee hee!

    • People4Humanity

      Liberty Counsel may find they are stretched thin, with 3144 counties and county-equivalents in US.

  • Bob Black

    I live in northern Illinois, Winnebago County and they have ALWAYS issued marriage licenses by appointment only. No one screamed about their freedom here. A little perspective please.

    • Nexus1

      It is one thing for the policy to have been already in place, but it’s another thing entirely for it to change just so they can decide who is avoiding the gay cooties today. Plus if the people of that county have always expected to just go in there during business hours and get a license and now they have to schedule an appointment that is an inconvenience to the public. All in order to avoid serving what is likely just a couple of dozen gay couples in that county, which is even more upsetting. Lets also remember that it will be highly unlikely for any straight couple to have to reorganize their schedule because they can’t get an appointment on a certain day, but a same sex couple likely will. What if the only non bigoted worker is on vacation or sick? Imagine hearing “Oh sorry Jeff isn’t in this week he has the flu, but you can get your marriage license next week when he feels better.” In some of the smaller towns this may be a common occurrence. It’s the epitome of unequal treatment. The gay couple has to hope for the non prejudiced people to be available that day, that is not equal access.

    • McSwagg

      That may be OK if it is a simple appointment for a generic marriage license, but the minute they ask whether it is a ‘gay marriage’ or a ‘straight marriage’, it becomes discrimination.

  • Bill Doyle

    My friend posted a quote from the comments on the Arkansas article:

    “Her job is to issue marriage licenses. There is no such thing as a same-sex marriage license. There are only “marriage licenses.” So she cannot have an objection to that.

    What she is objecting to is “issuing marriage licenses to gay people.” This is a more specific form of “issuing marriage licenses to some people,
    but not others.” Her job doesn’t include choosing who gets access to
    their rights.”

  • TJay229

    Weird as it may sound…
    I’m fine with her position. If she’s not going to do it, fine.. Someone will, that’s the end goal is it not, As long as it’s done.

    That stupid clerk is just one small step, once she’s stepped on (over) all things proceed as normal. Her idiocy will come back to bite her.

    • Bruno

      I’m not fine with her position, but I don’t think there’s any need for a ruckus since all clients will be served in an equal manner, if what she says plays out. We will have bigger messes to fight against.

      • TJay229

        I’m fine with her stating her position and having the sense enough to make the necessary accommodations.

        Everyone is NOT going to be happy, fine. As long as it gets DONE, fine.

      • McSwagg

        What if Mary, who issues the ‘gay marriage’ licenses is only available on the third Tuesday of months with 31 days in them? This County Clerk’s ‘compromise’ is simply an excuse to impose her personal prejudices on those she disapproves of. If allowed to stand, this ‘compromise’ with evolve into an insurmountable hurdle based only on her deeply held personal prejudices. This is always how these things start.

  • TexasBoy

    But the county IS issuing licenses, just not this individual clerk. I don’t think that is what Paxton was going for in his advisory. Trinity county is like 3 counties away from Houston. In an area most people like to call Louisiana West.

    • McSwagg

      Three counties away geographically and centuries behind culturally. This area has more in common with Jasper, Texas where they drug a man behind a pick-up truck until he was dead just because he was black.

  • Nigel

    I have a religious right not to serve sinners. Everyone is a sinner. Please pay me taxpayer funds for doing no work what-so-ever!

  • goofy_joe

    So you’re refusing to follow the law, or do your job. Why do you think you are entitled to a job in the first place?

  • biloxiboi

    Religious freedom my ass. Will the hypocrite grant marriage licenses to those on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th marriage?

    • OZ_in_TX

      Of course they will… and if pressed they’ll just wring their hands and whine about ‘well that’s different!’ and then of course ‘stop oppressing me!!”

  • Jeffrey

    As usual Mrs Betty Bowers says it all

  • Jeffrey

    I hope they aren’t hoping for a big GoFundMe payday. I think these assholes will soon find that most trash is already tapped out after giving all their money to that pizza place and the bakery twats to have enough to fund the lifestyle of every goober who suddenly has a conscience about her job.

  • M Jackson

    This needs to be a stop-gap plan for as long as it takes to process the firing of Shasta Bergman from her job, along with the county clerks who are disinclined to do what they’ve been hired for.
    Gov. Paxton can then include her replacement hire in his Employment Creation numbers.

    • People4Humanity

      1> Yes, let’s fire Shasta.
      2> Fire other “filing cabinet” clerks who do not perform.
      3> Gov. “Abbott” has a recall motion going now.
      4> AG Paxton is fighting an indictment on securities fraud.

    • McSwagg

      County Clerks are elected in Texas. She would have to be recalled. That is unlikely to happen in east Texas.

      • M Jackson

        My maternal roots and yearly Thanksgiving plans are in the Longview/Marshall/Tyler area.
        My grandfather was a Scott from Scottsville.

        I try, try, try not to think of Louis Gohmert and the battle to cure birth defects.

  • KQCA

    Of course they’ll start refusing to do the job they’re paid to do. First, they’ll be revered for it within their sick little social groupthink subculture, then they’ll be praised and adored as a martyr, then they’ll hope to run to crowd funding or speaking appearances for offerings. It’s a win-win for them because they become faux heroes AND they still get to dehumanize others without consequence.

  • SorryNotSorry

    How is this legal?

    • JCF

      Because the (Christianist) Texas AG says so. A Federal Court is going to say different…

  • Dennis

    She trying. Maybe she really cares but she’s not quite getting it.
    Instead of scheduling US around their needs it should be the other way around. Marriage licenses for all must be available during all business hours.
    It should be her duty as clerk to ensure there is someone to take and process applications at all times, even taking into account lunch breaks and vacation days.
    And the deputy clerk may have taken the application but does she have to actually touch the papers those nasty queers signed or she can pawn that off too? Does her signature, as county clerk, get stamped anywhere?

  • OgunquitGuide
  • So everyone in the office has to publicly announce their opinions about a controversial issue? Is that legal?

  • Steverino

    You know the Alliance Defending Fallacies is salivating over this being their new cash cow. But that may be a good thing, as they almost always lose the court cases of the dupes who hire them as counsel.

  • William

    My redneck little county figured it out. Heck, there was even a judge on hand yesterday who waived the waiting period and performed the weddings.
    Photos here:

  • Drewco

    Resign. You have no business dealing with the public if you cannot accept the public.

    • People4Humanity

      Ha! I summoned you, and here you are! [Please see post just above (or below, depending how you sort).]

  • People4Humanity

    Drewco — Are you with us on this? According to an article in today’s Dallas Morning News, Texas needs to be painted a helter-skelter pattern, instead of sapphire blue:


    • Circ09

      There are more counties in compliance now. That map hasn’t been updated since yesterday.

  • my sincerely held religious beliefs require that i spit on a xtian three times during sunlit hours. i’ve made arrangements with my boss, to make other folks do my job while i’m observing my holy practice. if there’s a xtian customer in front of me, they are satisfactory to my deity as targets. i can’t be sued or fired for any of this because i sincerely believe it is my sacred right.

  • Nexus1

    And here ladies and gentleman is our next big fight along with ENDA or ‘adding the four words’. I can’t even describe how offensive it is that these idiots need to go to such lengths in order not to serve gay people. It’s interesting how she describes her religious prejudice as ‘religious liberty’ and those of others as ‘beliefs and opinions’. No lady they are rights, your religious prejudice is trampling over the citizens you took an oath to serve rights. I hope that by the time this whole ‘religious liberty’/right to discriminate issue comes before the court that Kennedy or Scalia or both have retired and that a Democratic President has chosen their replacement. It is a pretty matter of fact decision for an unbiased jurist, but as we know neither Scalia or Kennedy are unbiased towards religious superiority.

  • GreatLakeSailor

    Does this puddin’ head record deeds too? I wonder how she endures female land owners because ain’t wimmins chattle? For that matter, why’s her owner husband lettin’ her outta the house?

    • McSwagg

      Right? How can chattel own cattle? It boggles the mind.

  • I look at Shasta’s face and bestiality comes to mind. I bet she owns a very confused and large german shepherd.

  • Ronald Reagan is Dead!

    I just have to say this, If you are a county clerk or any other government worker tasked with Issuing Licenses or Benefits for Same Sex Couples, do your fucking job or find another one. IF YOUR FUCKING RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS PREVENT THAT THEN YOU NEED TO RESIGN!

    • JCF

      Hello, Hobby Effing Lobby.

  • Douglas

    So if you are a county clerk who is a racist can you deny service to African Americans based on your “sincerely held religious beliefs”? You are a PUBLIC servant here to serve the public. ALL of the public. If you can’t do that then resign!! So gld I live in Canada where this was NEVER an issue.

    • McSwagg

      That is why they hire one black clerk. It’s Affirmative Action. [sarcasm]

  • Ian

    Enjoy the federal lawsuit, sweetie.

  • Ginger Snap

    Someone needs a Shasta.

  • GreatLakeSailor

    Think of the angst, the agony, the shuffling of schedules this poor persecuted xtian must endure when recording a tattoo parlor license!

  • They claim ALL couples will need to make an appointment first. So to test for disperate treatment:

    1. Have an opposite sex couple drop in and see if can get a license on the spot. (Might as well drop that it’s their divorces were just finalized and they want to get married right away.)

    2. Have a same sex couple call for a “first available” appointment, then have an opposite sex couple do the same to see if they get an earlier appointment.

    The AG says they have attorneys ready to represent clerks who refuse to issue a license. Will those attorneys also pay the fines and serve the jail time?

    • McSwagg

      The minute they ask whether the marriage is ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ they will have violated the law. They are not allowed to ask any questions that do not serve a compelling legal government interest. Convenience of scheduling appointments based on ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ is not a compelling legal government interest regardless of what AG Paxton says.

  • Fox

    Here’s a better solution. Shouldn’t this application process be mechanized by now? Just make sure all applicants are literate.

    • McSwagg

      Literacy is not a legal requirement for marriage or any other fundamental right. That is a part of Jim Crow that was long ago declared illegal.

  • DaveMiller135

    I think this kind of institutional inefficiency is going to grate on the people who are practicing it. Over time. But the idea of appointments would allow them to skip the whole, “I can’t help you with that, I’m a Christian, but here’s Patty Jo” rigamarole, and have the clerk they start with take them through the whole process. I want to avoid the moment when someone’s happy day is interrupted to accommodate someone’s beliefs, and this might be able to do it.

    • McSwagg

      Why not just set up separate lines like they did during the Jim Crow era? Separate is not equal.

  • SilasMarner

    I say fire any clerk that won’t do their job. And if they won’t vacate the premises, arrest them. Just that simple.

  • And diet shasta orange.

  • James

    How can this be legal? Aside from anythign else their “solution” will conceivably lead to a situation in which people will have to be asked their religious views before they’re hired.

  • Gerry Fisher

    I’m fine with this for now, as long as licenses are not being denied or delayed a month. That being said, how long will this go on before entitled hets scream for more convenient licensing? Or before the clerks willing to serve all scream to their union that they’re putting in more hours or doing extra duties?

    • McSwagg

      But that is the issue. Marriage licenses for same sex couples will be delayed, inconvenienced, and eventually denied. It may not happen at first, but the ‘system’ will evolve over time.

  • Matt in PDX

    Can Texans refuse to pay the taxes that fund the salaries of county clerks if it violates their sincerely held religious beliefs?

  • 2karmanot

    “her and her staff,” says it all

  • Lillian Ladele all over again. She got fired. Okay, that was a different jurisdiction, so it’s not legal precedent, but it’s the same story.


  • RLK2

    Someone such as Lambda Legal, ACLU, HRC, etc need to sue her. She is on very shaky legal ground per many legal experts. One cannot force their religious beliefs on others. Let’s sue them already! Stop being so timid Texas gays!

    • McSwagg

      OK! She just announced the policy today. This is deep east Texas. There are likely very few gay couples living there because it is such a backwards and culturally developmentally delayed area. It will take some time for a case to present itself.

  • Queequeg

    No dout a small government conservative, adding layers of complications to something thst shoul be a simple process, all because Jeebuz.

  • GayEGO

    Texas Civil employee’ salaries are paid by Texas taxpaying citizens, if they refuse to obey the civil law they should be terminated immediately. You do not have to be a lawyer to understand that civil employees must keep church and state separate as religious beliefs are invalid in civil institutions.

  • these temper tantrums are going to start backfiring as they start impacting straight couples as well.

  • Jeff

    No. No. No. “By appointment only…” means you’ll be asked if you’re a filthy queer when you call.
    “No one in the office can issue a license for you today, but we have specialists we call in on rare occasions who can handle being around people with… your condition.”

    • Fox

      That sounds about right.

  • TampaZeke

    Sorry Princess Dumbfuck, but Jim Crow was settled DECADES ago! Find a job as a church secretary if you want to ensure that your beliefs are expressed through your job.

  • Mihangel apYrs

    and what other derogations will she allow? Refusals to divorcees, or to people of different religions? What about atheists refusing to serve Xians? All this should also be allowed, by her fucktard logic

  • Fox

    If that’s how it’s going to be, then Clerks who provide services to same-sex couples should get an upgrade and salary differential because their job has been expanded, and they’re doing more.

  • JCF

    As long as YOU aren’t inconvenienced, Morticia…

  • Jim

    Ms. Bergman’s attempt to be fair to the public and her employees is commendable, but this is ad hoc law making with no foundation in actual law at all. It won’t survive a court challenge. I don’t blame Bergman. This is what happens when the state AG publicly advocates lawlessness. That guy has violated both his oath of office and his oath as a lawyer, and he should be brought in front of the state bar and publicly sanctioned.

  • Bj Lincoln

    If they can’t do their government jobs, fire them! If my taxes pay your wages, you WILL treat me equally or fucking lose your job!

  • Yank

    Shasta; how does it feel to be named after a cheap cola from the 70’s?

  • Circ09

    Hood County’s Katie Lang now says her statement this morning was “misconstrued”. Her office will now start issuing licenses. I think these religious nutcases are starting to get the message!

  • djlee

    Because you are required to change your beliefs and support gay marriages when you issue a marriage license.

  • TexPlant

    How does issuing a license have anything to do with her belief in the angry sky monster? Will she issue a license to someone who has been divorced? What about to someone who has been convicted of a sex crime? Can an atheist or heavens – a liberal apply for marriage? What about a Muslim or (gasp) A jew? This chick gets to judge people she is paid to serve and this is allowed by the law – She needs to find a job that is not supported by may flaming homosexual tax dollars!!

  • sword

    There will also be separate but equal lines for whites and ‘coloreds’!

  • Anthony

    It would be interesting to see how exactly they do this. I mean, if there isn’t equal availability for two types of applications defined by this particular region, then it’s not even “separate but equal” (which is wrong in and of itself).

    As a government organisation, and as a factor impacting service provision, I wonder if the documentation surrounding this discussion (if not the identities, which, let’s be honest isn’t really the important thing, but the numbers and rostering availability) would be subject to FoIA in their jurisdiction.