Area judges have more decisions to make after same-sex ruling

Area judges have more decisions to make after same-sex ruling

Amarillo, TX -  With Friday's Supreme Court ruling, local counties have started issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

While it is now illegal to deny a marriage license to same-sex couples, area judges tell us they do have the authority to choose whether to conduct a ceremony.

The Supreme Court's ruling legalized same-sex marriage nationwide when it decided four cases out of a Cincinnati-based court.

Potter and Randall counties issued their first same-sex licences yesterday and Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner tells us today, she is scheduled to conduct at least five ceremonies.

Legally, judges have the option whether to perform marriage ceremonies.

"I welcome it, I don't have a problem with it," says Tanner. "It's the law, so I'm going to follow the law."

While Tanner is willing, there are judges who are not. Deaf Smith County Judge DJ Wagner is among those judges.

The County will no longer perform the ceremonies for any couple, however some are skeptical about the timing of the announcement.

"There is some speculation that it is because of the new supreme court ruling. Does that have anything to do with it? That is the case, yes ma'am," says Wagner."

"I think that they're covering themselves by saying they're not doing marriages for anyone, so that kinda takes the whole spectrum, but as far as I'm concerned the supreme court spoke and so I'm going to go by what they say," says Tanner.

Wagner tells us no one in Deaf Smith County has shown much interest in a same-sex license. Area counties like Moore, Donlry and Gray have not issued any either.

For the time being, those in Deaf Smith County hoping for a ceremony will have to look elsewhere.

"They're going to have to find some kind of clergy or preacher to perform that ceremony," says Wagner.

Tanner, however says she will continue performing marriage ceremonies.

"This is just a legal piece of paper for them. Saying that they can now have a right to put them on their insurance, whatever they need to do, buy a house, whatever they want to do. It's legal now they can do that so, more power to 'em. They are human beings too," says Tanner.

Currently there are at least 60 counties in the state of Texas not issuig same-sex marriage licenses despite the Supreme Court's Ruling.