2015 Archives

Supreme Court decision on same sex marriages met with mixed emotions in Texoma


The following is from the June 27, 2015, edition of The Herald Democrat. SMU Law Professor Linda Eads provided expertise for this story.

June 29, 2015

By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat

Same sex couples who would like to get married in Texoma may have to wait a while. County clerks in Fannin, Cooke and Grayson counties said they won’t be issuing licenses anytime soon.

Grayson County Clerk Wilma Bush said she is waiting for direction from the state’s Attorney General’s Office before issuing any marriage licences to same sex couples. “It doesn’t work that quickly,” Bush said. She said county clerks in Texas “were instructed to await instruction” from the Office of the Attorney General.

In a statement Thursday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton releases a statement saying, “Whatever the ruling, I would recommend that all county clerks and justices of the peace wait for direction and clarity from this office about the meaning of the Court’s opinion and the rights of Texans under the law.”

Bush further stated that she is an elected official, but she is not an attorney so she would be seeking legal advice about the Supreme Court’s decision before she makes any changes. “It is business as usual,” she said until then. . . 

Linda Eads, professor of law at the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University, said the state won’t be able to hold out for long. She said there will be a time period allowed for new forms to be printed, but the new law will stand in Texas because that is the price of being a part of the union. She said it might take longer for the changes to be put in place in some of the smaller counties in Texas, but then someone will probably sue over being denied the right to get a marriage license and a court will have to tell Texas it must enforce the law across the board.

It might take time, she said. Sometimes it does with Supreme Court decisions. She said it took four years for Brown vs. Board of Education to be enforced and that was with the help of the National Guard. She said local officials and state officials don’t have to like enforcing the law but they have to do it or face anarchy.

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