Dallas County Judge Tonya Parker has announced that she will not be performing straight marriage ceremonies in her court because it is illegal for gay couples to marry in the state of Texas.
"I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about inequality in this state because I feel like I have to tell them why I'm turning them away," Parker told a meeting of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. Her response to couples hoping that the openly gay judge will preside over their unions is, "I'm sorry. I don't perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn't apply to another group of people. 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. I do not perform [marriages] because it is not an equal application of the law. Period."
This is similar to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie professing that they wouldn't get married until everyone in their country had that legal right. Brad has recently backtracked, however, saying, "We’d actually like to, and it seems to mean more and more to our kids. We made this declaration some time ago that we weren’t going to do it till everyone can. But I don’t think we’ll be able to hold out. It means so much to my kids, and they ask a lot. And it means something to me, too, to make that kind of commitment.”
Although I certainly understand their kids' desire for their parents to be married, if they go back on their declaration, in a way, they're doing their family a disservice. It's a very powerful message to tell your kids, "We know you want us to get married. We want to get married, too. But we live in an unequal country, and until that changes, it isn't okay for us to be able to do something that other families don't have the same right to do."
I'm sure Brad and Angelina will do what they believe is best for their family, and we should all support whatever decision they make, but in my opinion, the lesson the kids will learn by not seeing their parents marry is more powerful than the joy they would feel if they did.