2015 Archives

Women wed in Texas’ first same-sex marriage, but union contested


The following is from the Feb. 19, 2015, edition of The Dallas Morning News. SMU Law Professor Jessica Dixon Weaver, a family law expert, provided expertise for this story.

February 20, 2015

AUSTIN — Defying Texas’ long-standing ban on gay marriage, a lesbian couple wed in Austin after being granted a marriage license on Thursday under a special court order because one of the women has cancer.

Texas’ attorney general vowed to void the union of the state’s first legally wed same-sex couple. He immediately appealed to the state Supreme Court, which agreed to block other gay couples from obtaining marriage licenses but didn’t address the marriage of Suzanne Bryant and Sarah Goodfriend.

“The same-sex marriage license issued by the Travis County clerk is void, just as any license issued in violation of state law would be,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said she still considers the marriage valid.

Jessica Dixon Weaver, a family law expert at Southern Methodist University, said it probably won’t be considered valid by the courts.

“There is no state law that allows for same-sex marriage, so even though the judge has signed an order and their license has been issued and they’ve been married it doesn’t mean that that marriage will be recognized in the state of Texas,” she said.

“Because of the state ban and the amendment that was voted on, it’s basically void on its face,” she said.

Read the full story.

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