As several Texas county clerks continue defying federal law by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, county clerk Russ Towers is busy marrying all couples who come to his Paris, Texas office.
Towers also happens to be the only openly gay county clerk in Texas and the first out official in the conservative Paris, Texas.
He is also incredibly ripped and not afraid to show off his six-pack:
Hours after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, Towers issued his first marriage license to a same-sex couple:
“For me, it was very surreal, because it was something that I never thought that I would see in my lifetime, but to be on the other side of the counter, to be the one issuing, made it especially special for me,” he told the Texas Observer. “It was probably one of the proudest moments and days that I’ve ever had professionally.”
Clerks in the Lone Star State refusing to issue marriage licenses are doing so with the written blessing of Attorney General Ken Paxton, who issued an opinion instructing clerks that they could deny issuing licenses to same-sex couples.
“What they didn’t tell those clerks is that your bond may not cover you, and can also be personally liable for official oppression,” he said.
Towers criticized clerks who are still refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses to couples.
“It makes me sad,” Towers said. “We’re all clerks, and we all take the same oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, the laws of the United States and of the state, and that doesn’t apply to do just some people or the lifestyles with which you agree.”
“I am out, and nothing will ever change that,” said Towers, a Republican who is up for reelection next year. “I suppose that could make some people uncomfortable, but I think most people who are active voters can recognize the changes that I made as an elections administrator to improve their voting experience, and maybe that will be enough to sway them to trust me in the job that I do as county clerk.”
Keep up the great work Russ!