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Only in Texas

Cole Parker

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This was in the news on Yahoo! today:

Texas Judge Tonya Parker cannot legally marry a woman in her state, so she refuses to perform any marriage ceremonies until there is equality. She finds it "oxymoronic" to perform a ceremony that cannot be performed for her.

Parker, an openly gay judge, told a group at a Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meeting Tuesday that when she turns a couple away, she uses it as an opportunity to teach them a lesson about marriage equality.

"I don't perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality and until it does, I'm not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn't apply to another group of people," Parker said in a video of the Tuesday discussion. "And it's kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can't be performed for me, so I'm not going to do it."

A spokeswoman for the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct said the commission had no comment.

Why do I bring this up. Because I hate to see our language abused. That is not what 'oxymoronic' means, and I wish she'd retract her statement accordingly.

So there.


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Dear Tonya Parker:

Oxymoron: noun, ok-si-mawr-on, a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”

Hypocrisy: noun, hi-pok-ruh-see, a state where actions contradict stated beliefs.

However, good for her for standing up to this. I wonder how it will play out.

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I think you've misunderstood her. 'Oxy' is the brand name for a line of acne care products marketed worldwide by The Mentholatum Company. 'Moronic' is a well-known character trait often exhibited by state legistators, especially in states like Texas. What she is actually saying is 'because of certain pus-filled morons here in the state of Texas, I choose not to perform marriage ceremonies.' I applaud her stand.

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Despite any rumors, there are indeed gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and a whole bunch of other people in Texas. Some of 'em are judges. Some are mayors. My city's mayor is openly lesbian and has a partner and has been for several years.

But no, they cannot legally marry, partner, or civil union. They can be privately recognized by their friends, and by some accepting religious groups. At least the friends and the accepting religious groups are good about it.

And no, like my city's mayor and that judge, if I do find the guy of my dreams (or if he finds me) I can't get legally hitched -- not yet, anyway.

Things change at some point, however.

OK, yeah, and you do have to have a sweetie before you can get hitched to one. There's that too.

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The reason that the spokeswoman for the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct had no comment was since performing marriages is not an official duty of Judges serving on the civil district court, Judge Parker isn't doing anything wrong. Judges (on this particular court) still have the ability to conduct marriage ceremonies if they wish, she doesn't.

I guess this is a symbolic protest.

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