Atheist Group Backs Couple Who Were Forced to Marry by Texas Judge

Atheist Group Backs Couple Who Were Forced to Marry by Texas Judge

A Texas judge who ruled that a young man had to get married, write down Bible verses, and receive counseling for punishment of a misdemeanor is now facing prosecution himself.

The atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) issued a formal complaint to Judge Randall Rogers, stating that Rogers had overstepped his constitutional duties by issuing a sentence that imposed his own religious beliefs on the defendant.

While the FFRF’s complaint against Rogers is not actually a lawsuit, it must be settled in a formal manner. 

If convicted of judicial misconduct, Rogers could be forced to receive more education, be privately or publicly sanctioned, or even be removed from practicing law, according to the Christian Examiner.

Rogers’s ruling involved a 21-year-old man named Josten Bundy who was convicted of punching the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes, after the ex-boyfriend made a derogatory remark against Jaynes.

When Rogers found out the couple wasn’t married, he stated, “You know, as a part of my probation, you’re going to have to marry her…within 30 days?” 

In addition to forcing the couple to marry, Rogers required Bundy to write down Proverbs 26:27 25 times a day. The verse reads,"If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it."

Rogers did give Bundy the option of serving a more typical jail sentence of 15 days, but Bundy declined, fearing he might lose his job if he took too much time off work.

Publication date: August 18, 2015