In the wake of today’s historic SCOTUS decision, marriage equality for the state of Texas went from dream to reality.
But depending on the county that one lives in, that reality may be harder to swallow than it is for others.
As we speak, legal marriage ceremonies are being conducted in several Texas Counties, including El Paso, Hidalgo, Travis, Bexar and Dallas are now granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
However in the state’s most populous county of Harris, a pathetic waiting game is still being played, as County Clerk Stan Stanart is trying desperately to slow down the process of granting loving couples their constitutional rights. Even after County Attorney Vince Ryan directly instructed Stanart to comply with federal law, the elected official seems to be ignoring federal law. One Houston couple, Hunter Middleton and John LaRue were the first in line at the Harris County Clerk’s office waiting to apply for the marriage license. Sadly they were also the first to be turned down. This is a risky stance for the Clerk, as it leaves Harris County and its taxpayers liable for deniability. In fact, several Houston couples have already begun proceedings to sue the county.
As of 3pm today, LGBT couples can now wed in Harris County!!! Here’s what you need to do to obtain a marriage license.
If LGBT Texans were hoping for some support from their governor on this historic day, they sadly will not find it. As Rebecca Elliott of the Houston Chronicle reports, Governor Greg Abbott has issued a directive in hopes of preventing same-sex spouses from receiving now federally-mandated benefits…
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott opened the door for state agencies to withhold benefits from same-sex couples Friday, hours after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
In a letter released Friday afternoon, Abbott ordered heads of state agencies to prioritize religious freedom, writing that no adverse action should be taken against a state official “on account of the person’s act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by sincere religious belief.”
“This order applies to any agency decision, including but not limited to granting or denying benefits, managing agency employees, entering or enforcing agency contracts, licensing and permitting decisions, or enforcing state laws and regulations,” Abbott wrote.
Yet again, we have a measure of grand irony from the Texas Governor. preventing loving couples from getting married or receiving benefits is of the highest priority, but letting millions of poor Texans suffer without health insurance of any kind can wait?? Actions like these border on shameful.
Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart will begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses at 3pm, whether he has the correct forms or not! Marriage equality has come to the nation’s 4th largest city!
And it’s DONE. Congratulations to Hunter Middleton and John LaRue, the first same-sex couple ever to marry in Harris County and the City of Houston!
An historic day indeed!!