States Push Back on Federal Gay Marriage Rulings

Lawmakers in several states are circumventing court rulings that have overturned bans on gay marriage by introducing bills in legislatures prohibiting local government employees from offering marriage licenses to gay couples seeking to wed, The New York Times reported.

Bills have been introduced in the state legislatures of Texas, South Carolina and Oklahoma by Republican leaders that also cut salaries to those government workers who issue marriage licenses to gay couples, the Times said.

Some states have included “opt-out” clauses in their legislation, giving government employees a decision on whether they want to work with same-sex couples seeking to marry, or prefer not to participate, the Times noted.

The actions come as the U.S. Supreme Court moves to debate whether same-sex marriage is constitutional.