Dallas Democrats Say Justice of the Peace Who Refused to Officiate Same-Sex Weddings Must Resign

Late Friday afternoon, the Dallas County Democratic Party called on a Mesquite Justice of the Peace to resign immediately.

County Chair Carol Donovan is asking Bill Metzger to step down after he recently announced on his Facebook page that he would refuse to officiate issue a same-sex marriage if asked.

Metzger wrote that as a devout Catholic, “my sincerely-held religious beliefs keeps me from being forced to conduct anything but a traditional wedding as a Judge per our Attorney General."

"It is clear that any Justice of the Peace in Texas can refuse to perform a non-traditional wedding when that wedding can be performed by others," he wrote.

The Dallas County Democrats said in a statement that “he certainly has the right to his opinion, but he cannot hold office and continue to break the law.”

"By refusing to officiate same-sex marriages, Judge Bill Metzger is not only violating federal law, as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court, but he is also violating his Oath of Office. Therefore, he must resign," Donovan wrote.

Local LGBT advocates say they’re disappointed by the comments.

"If you’re a public official, and you’re in a job where you’re serving the public, that means the entire public. The entire public. You can’t make exceptions based on your personal, outside beliefs that must not impact on how you do your job," said Rafael McDonnell, a manager with the Resource Center.

Hundreds of same-sex marriages have been performed in Dallas since last summer, although County Clerk John Warren said an official number is not known because his office doesn't track by it gender.

NBC 5 left several messages for Bill Metzger, but he did not respond. 

In response to a question about why he posted in the first place, Metzger's Chief of Staff Dwayne Horner said in an e-mail: "The Judge is out a lot in the community helping with charities (including recently helping the victims of the December 26 tornado that affected his precinct) and was asked recently. He is a regular user of Facebook and uses that tool to communicate." 

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