Chances are when someone says the word “emergency” to you, some of the images that may cross your mind are those of an ambulance or fire truck speeding to save someone in danger. Or perhaps the loud sound of alarm bells at a school being threatened by a storm.
But apparently to Gubernatorial Candidate Greg Abbott, the threat of wedding bells and divorce court constitutes an emergency of the utmost importance. This week after a District Judge moved to hear the case of a lesbian couple seeking a divorce, Attorney General Abbott raced to put an emergency stay on the decision. Here’s more from Lone Star Q…
Warning of the possibility of same-sex marriages and “legal chaos,” Attorney General Greg Abbott has convinced a Texas appeals court to halt a San Antonio judge’s decision striking down the state’s marriage bans.
State District Judge Barbara Nellermoe ruled Tuesday that a lesbian couple’s divorce and child custody case could proceed, citing a federal judge’s ruling in February declaring Texas’ marriage bans unconstitutional.
However, the Austin American-Statesman reports that Abbott requested an emergency stay from the 4th District Court of Appeals, warning “to avoid the legal chaos that would follow if the trial court’s broadly worded ruling is mistakenly interpreted as authorization for the creation or recognition of same-sex marriages in Bexar County or throughout the state.”
The 4th Court of Appeals granted the stay on Thursday.
Abbott, a Republican who’s running for governor, is defending the state’s marriage bans against three federal lawsuits, from same-sex couples, including the one in which U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled in favor of marriage equality in February. Abbott is appealing Garcia’s decision, which was also stayed, to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
It’s an interesting window into the mind of Abbott and his anti-equality colleagues. Challenging Texas’ same-sex marriage ban would result in legal chaos, but cutting billions of dollars from Texas’ schoolchildren is no big deal? He’s also not in a big rush to provide a pathway for millions of Texans to access life-saving healthcare either. Both of those problems seem much more chaotic than a few people that want to marry who they love, or be granted a divorce.
Back to the chaos point, isn’t it time to drop all of the fire and brimstone rhetoric around marriage equality anyway? Calamity has yet to erupt in any of the 17 states that now grant same-sex marriages, and there’s no reason to assume the Lone Star State would be different. When are Conservatives going to stop sounding the alarm on this? Pretty soon, no one will believe them anyway.