When Carlos and I got married last year, we had many communications with the courthouse out in Washington before heading out there to tie the knot. But it was all so easy, everyone was so nice, and even the judge who presided over our ceremony — Judge Leon Henley — was polite and professional; he asked if we wanted to be referred to as ‘husband-and-husband’ or ‘spouse-and-spouse’ during the ceremony, and even stayed after to take pictures with us.
It was nice … and makes me feel so lucky that we didn’t choose to get married in Denton County, Texas where a justice of the peace is all pissy about that darned marriage equality ruling and has sunk to a new low in response.
Judge James DePiazza has performed more than 2,000 wedding ceremonies but before he does any more, the couples seeking to wed will be required to sign an agreement that he revised since that Supreme Court ruling.
The old agreement congratulated the couples on their upcoming wedding, and laid out guidelines on punctuality, fees, marriage license requirements, and had places for the bride and groom to sign. But Judge DePiazza’s new form, which was posted to the court’s website, highlights DePiazza’s position on same-sex marriage, saying he prefers to "NOT conduct same-sex ceremonies, but will not decline anyone who chooses to schedule with him." The website also offers a disclaimer of sort:
"While we many [sic] not necessarily agree with, we accept Judge DePiazza's position on same-sex marriages, accept the conditions expressed above and understand that there will be no discussion regarding his position before, during or after the ceremony."
So, you either sign an agreement saying you accept this asshat’s limited world-view or else he will not perform the ceremony. And, on top of that, the new forms removes the congratulations — cuz why congratulate a same-sex couple on their marriage — and now photography during the ceremony, though you can stick around afterwards and take a few pictures … once the judge is gone.
The new form also replaces "bride" and "groom" with two signature spots and states ceremonies will not be confirmed unless the acknowledgment is turned into the office, along with the $100 cash fee.
When news of these new forms was revealed, Judge DePiazza actually told the local news outlet that every human being deserves dignity and respect, whether he agrees with them or not:
"It's my personal belief that individuals who want to conduct a marriage ceremony understand my convictions. If it was me, I would prefer to have someone who was in agreement with me."
Oh, and Judge DePiazza is a Republican, and an elected official, chosen to serve everyone in the county, but he just wants to make it clear that if you’re gay he doesn’t really want to marry you until you understand and acknowledge that he thinks your marriage is some sort of abomination.
And that’s why Judge James DePiazza is the ISBL Asshat of the Week.