Texas County Clerk Sued for Refusing Gay Marriage License

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– A lesbian couple sued an East Texas county clerk for refusing to issue a same-sex marriage license Friday, the same day the U.S. Supreme Court declared gay marriage legal in all 50 states.

Karen Wilkerson and Jolie Smith said the Smith County Clerk in Tyler refused to issue a marriage license because the form required the name of a man and a woman. By Monday, the county had fixed that and was issuing licenses to same-sex couples, according to a courthouse clerk who declined to give her name.

The couple claimed their families and a preacher were standing by Friday to conduct their wedding, which was prevented by the lack of a valid marriage license, according to their complaint filed in federal court in Tyler, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Dallas.

Karen Phillips, the Smith County Clerk, didn’t immediately respond to phone or e-mail requests seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The case is Wilkerson v. Phillips, 6:15-cv-00606, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).

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