GRANBURY, TX - Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton are finally a marriage certificate, and it only took a federal lawsuit to make it happen.
“I feel great,” says Jim Cato. “It’s a historic moment.”
Together for 27 years, the couple showed up the same day the Supreme Court ruled same sex marriage legal in all 50 states. But, Hood County Clerk Katy Lang turned them away saying her office wouldn’t issue a license because of her religious objections.
Then Lang had a change of heart. The clerk said she wouldn’t say “I Do” but her office would. But when Jim and Joe showed up again, there were told it would take three weeks to get gender neutral paperwork.
After protesters showed up in Granbury, the couple decided to hire an attorney and Monday the filed a lawsuit. Hours later, the Hood County Clerk’s office announced their marriage certificate was ready to pick up.
“We didn’t want to wait another day, but we were forced to wait another 10 days to get this certificate,” says Cato.
Despite their victory, their attorney Jan Soifer announced they were not dropping their lawsuit.
“There are two other things that we’ve asked for,” she says. “An injunction that the clerk of this county will issue, without delay, marriage certificates to all, and for Jim and Joe to be reimbursed their attorney’s fees.”
Kay Lang was not available today to comment.
Looks like while the wedding bills may have rung but the legal wrangling may have just begun.