Texas Supreme Court Issues Stay on Same-Sex Marriage
Hours after two women wed in Travis County Thursday, the Texas Supreme Court issued a stay blocking other same-sex couples from obtaining marriage licenses after a legal challenge by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Paxton is seeking to void the marriage license, which he says was issued in violation of state law.
“The Texas Constitution clearly defines marriage as between one man and one woman, as Texas voters approved by an overwhelming majority” Paxton stated Thursday. “The law of Texas has not changed, and will not change due to the whims of any individual judge or county clerk operating on their own capacity anywhere in Texas. Activist judges don’t change Texas law and we will continue to aggressively defend the laws of our state and will ensure that any licenses issued contrary to law are invalid.”
The State of Texas issued a ban on same-sex marriage in 2005, but that measure was deemed unconstitutional by a federal court in January of last year. The federal judge’s ruling was stayed to allow the state to appeal.
However, on Tuesday, Probate Judge Guy Herman determined that the ban was unconstitutional while attempting to settle a dispute over an Austin woman’s estate. Two days later, a district judge in Travis County came to the same conclusion and issued a temporary restraining order that allowed the county to issue the marriage license.
Paxton has asked the state supreme court to review both rulings.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued the following statement in response to Thursday’s events:
“Article 1, Section 32 of the Texas Constitution defines marriage as consisting ‘only of the union of one man and one woman’ and was approved by more than three-quarters of Texas voters. I am committed to ensuring that the Texas Constitution is upheld and that the rule of law is maintained in the State of Texas.”