AUSTIN, Texas — A Waco-area judge has been warned by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct after she has refused to perform same-sex marriages.
Dianne Hensley, a Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1, Place 1 in McLennan County, reportedly married opposite-sex couples, but has refused to marry same-sex couples since August 1st, 2016.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage on June 25th, 2015, and legalized it in all fifty states.
Since August of 2016, Judge Hensley and her court staff began giving all same-sex couples wishing to be married in her court a document that stated the following:
I'm sorry, but Judge Hensley has a sincerely held religious belief as a Christian, and will not be able to perform any same sex weddings.
The document also featured a list of other locals who would officiate a same-sex wedding.
Judge Hensley told the Waco-Tribune, the public and the Commission that her conscience and religion prohibited her from officiating same-sex weddings, and said she would recuse herself from a case in which a party doubted her impartiality on the basis that she publicly refuses to perform same-sex weddings.
The Commission has chosen to publicly warn Judge Hensley that she is casting doubt upon her capacity to "act impartially to persons appearing before her as a judge due to the person's sexual orientation in violation of Canon 4A(l) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct."