Texas Democrats file complaint over AG’s same-sex marriage opinion

Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Texas)

Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Texas) AP

Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Texas)AP

Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Texas)

AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas Democrat has filed a complaint against Attorney General Ken Paxton accusing the Republican of instructing county clerks to “break the law” over gay marriage.

Glen Maxey, a former state legislator, wrote to the State Bar of Texas accusing Paxton of violating rules of professional conduct set out for lawyers.

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country, Paxton issued a non-binding legal opinion saying county clerks could follow their conscience and refuse licenses to same-sex couples. Most county clerks in Texas eventually did issue licenses, though some waited a day or more after the ruling.

Maxey accuses Paxton of “misleading county and state officials based on a false premise.”

A Paxton spokeswoman says the opinion was consistent with religious freedoms established by law.

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Paxton is also facing a possible indictment on first-degree felony charges of violating state securities law.

Kent Schaffer, a Houston defense attorney, said a recent Texas Rangers investigation of Paxton revealed that the attorney general broke laws beyond what he admitted last year, when he was fined $1,000 by the State Securities Board.

A special prosecutor said Wednesday that he’ll ask a Collin County grand jury to indict Paxton on the charges.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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