AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A county clerk in East Texas opposed to same-sex marriage stepped down from her post on Monday, with local media reports saying she is the first clerk to resign rather than abide by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June making gay marriage legal.
Rusk County Clerk Joyce Lewis-Kugle tendered her resignation last week and it was accepted on Monday, county officials said.
“Before taking office, I was required to take an oath to uphold the laws of this State and the United States. Due to the recent decision by the Supreme Court, the laws I swore to have now changed,” she said in the letter issued to the county judge and posted on the Internet by a local TV broadcaster.
The county will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, an official said, adding that so far none have applied.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, has said he would support county clerks if they believed their religious liberties would be compromised by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
According to Equality Texas, a group that lobbies on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, 250 of the 254 counties in Texas are either issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or plan to do so soon.