Judge Tony Parker is the first openly gay African-American elected official in the history of Texas, and she's using that unique position to speak out strongly for other members of the LGBT population. In 2005, Texans voted for legislation defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. And while Parker explains that it is not her official duty to perform marriage ceremonies, she also calls it "oxymoronic to perform ceremonies that can't be performed for me," and so she refuses to do so.
According to Raw Story, she said at a recent Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meeting:
I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage equality in the state because I feel like I have to tell them why I’m turning them away.
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.