(NBC-DFW) - Dallas County Judge Tonya Parker says she won't perform marriage ceremonies until homosexuals can be wed.
During a Feb. 21 meeting, Parker told the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas that while she has the power to perform legal marriage ceremonies in her court, she will not.
“I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state because I feel like I have to tell them why I’m turning them away,” Parker said. “So I usually will offer them something along the lines of, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people.’ And it’s kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can’t be performed for me, so I’m not going to do it."
"I do not perform [marriages] because it is not an equal application of the law. Period," Parker told the Dallas Voice.
Though she chooses not to perform the ceremonies, Parker said she passes marriage ceremonies on to other judges so they can be completed.
During the meeting, Parker also mentioned other steps she takes to promote equality for gay, lesbian, and transgendered issues, including adding the word "partner" to the list of people the jury is not supposed to communicate about the ongoing case with, and admonishing an attorney who used the terms "child molester" and "homosexual" interchangeably.
Parker was elected in 2010 and is the first lesbian to be elected as a county judge in Dallas.