Tag Archives: same-sex marriage texas

Marriage EQUALIZED: SCOTUS Strikes Down State Marriage Bans

BREAKING:  In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has invalidated ALL state bans against same-sex marriage. Justice Anthony Kennedy joined Justices Elena Kagen, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to form the majority, with Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in the dissent.

The ruling’s foundation came from the Fourteenth Amendment of the constitution.  Directly from the majority opinion

The right of same-sex couples to marry is also derived from the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. The Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause are connected in a profound way. Rights implicit in liberty and rights secured by equal protection may rest on different precepts and are not always coextensive, yet each may be instructive as to the meaning and reach of the other. This dynamic is reflected in Loving, where the Court invoked both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause; and in Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U. S. 374, where the Court invalidated a law barring fathers delinquent on child-support payments from marrying. Indeed, recognizing that new insights and societal understandings can reveal unjustified inequality within fundamental institutions that once passed unnoticed and unchallenged, this Court has invoked equal protection principles to invalidate laws imposing sexbased inequality on marriage,…

No doubt about it… this is an historic day for the United States of America.  With same-sex marriage now legal in all 50 states, we must wait and see how this ruling comes into reality.  In the case of Texas, at least 3 county clerks are ready to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, though sadly Harris County is not one of them. Texas Leftist will have more as the process of marriage unfolds across the state, and the nation.



Ken Paxton Tries to VOID Texas’ 1st Same-Sex Marriage

For our state’s top legal counsel, Ken Paxton sure seems to have some issues interpreting legal actions.

After an yesterday’s historic event which saw the first ever same-sex marriage in the state of Texas, it comes as no surprise that the Attorney General decided to move swiftly to prevent others from occurring, as that was to be expected.  But what Texans didn’t necessarily count on?  That the Attorney General would need to stretch the truth in order to even do that.

Here’s an official statement from the AG’s website regarding the events…

“The Court’s action upholds our state constitution and stays these rulings by activist judges in Travis County. 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. I will continue to defend the will of the people of Texas, who have defined marriage as between one man and one woman, against any judicial activism or overreach.”



But there is a problem with Paxton’s finding here.  The Texas Supreme Court issued a stay to prevent any other same-sex marriages from occurring in the state.  However, they did not issue the stay in time to effect the marriage of Goodfriend and Bryant.  The injunctions requested affect any marriage attempts occurring from that point forward, with Writ of Mandamus pending…


One doesn’t have to be a legal scholar to see the inherent issues with Paxton’s statement.  AG Ken Paxton cannot invalidate the couple’s marriage unless he takes them to court in a lawsuit. His declaration is certainly a bold move, but will easily be found erroneous in any higher court.

It’s also worth wondering why this is such a high priority in the first place.  Like Greg Abbott before him, Ken Paxton considers stopping loving couples from getting married as a priority of the highest order for the state… literally less than 48 hours from the initial Travis County judge’s ruling.  Yet “preventing same-sex marriage” isn’t listed anywhere on the Attorney General’s list of priorities.  Is the A.G.’s office acting as quickly to aid ailing veterans or to stop child abusers and murderers from roaming our streets as they have to stop Texans from marrying?  The immediate guess would be absolutely not.

The legal wrangling may be frustrating, but at least it has now begun for the state of Texas.  We can’t win the war without first fighting the battle.



New Campaign For Marriage Equality Targets Texas

Over the last couple of years, marriage equality has spread across the United States like wildfire.  At present, it is the law of the land in 33 states and the District of Columbia.  A clear majority of United States citizens now live in states where same-sex couples can legally marry.

But not Texas.  Not yet.

With a sweeping record of victories under their belt, one national equality organization has now set its sights on Texas to try and advance the cause.  Here’s more about the Texas for Marriage campaign from Lone Star Q

The national group Freedom to Marry plans to spend $200,000 on the campaign launched Tuesday, in advance of oral arguments before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in January in a federal lawsuit challenging Texas’ same-sex marriage bans.

The campaign will be led by Ward Curtin, three-time deputy campaign manager to Houston Mayor Annise Parker, and Mark McKinnon, a former advisor to President George W. Bush.

“Nearly every state and federal court from last year on, more than 50 – with judges appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents and governors – has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry and moving the country forward,” Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson said. “Texas families should not be left behind. Government has no business interfering in important freedoms like who Texans marry, and no business putting obstacles in the path of families and employers trying to do the right thing. Our new campaign will show that Texans are ready for the freedom to marry, and so is America.”

In addition to a website unveiled Tuesday, TxForMarriage.org, the campaign will feature statewide TV ads, townhall meetings and a Republican-led effort by young conservatives.

“Gay marriage was barely a blip on the radar this past election cycle in Texas, as it was in the rest of the country,” McKinnon said. “That’s because discrimination doesn’t sell like it used to — and because Texans from all walks of life, from big cities to small towns, believe strongly in freedom and family. Supporting gay couples marrying is squarely in line with these Texas values.”

The group’s coordinated approach combines the personal stories of LGBT Texans with a strong case for why marriage equality makes sense for state business leaders.  All valid reasons that will hopefully strengthen the state’s growing coalition in support of equal marriage rights.

This is a strong start, but as Texas for Marriage moves forward, let’s hope that they do not leave out other important voices in this argument… the religious community itself.  Perhaps it is likely that the group wants to maintain a direct posture that steers clear of religion in all of its forms.  A large part of existing arguments for marriage equality stem from the view that it is strictly a secular institution from the government’s standpoint, and therefore leaves religious entities to make their own decisions about how to view same-sex marriage.

But it’s still important to recognize that many religious entities do support marriage equality, and as such, those voices continue to be noticeably absent from the conversation in Texas.   Dynamic congregations across the state are now supporting equality, some at similar rates to society at large.  Even if the push for marriage is mostly about government recognition, the religious community can still be of great use to change hearts, minds and overall public opinion.

At any rate, let’s hope the new push merits some results.

Annise Parker, Partner Wed in California!!

Houston Mayor Annise Parker has already had a big start to 2014. She was newly inaugurated to her third and final term on January 2nd, and has hit the ground running with a new City Council in place. The local economy is in full swing, and everyone around the nation now has Houston on their list of “best cities” for one reason or another. And the Parker Administration has surprised quite a few with it’s quick “progressive shift”… passing a landmark ordinance to combat wage theft, tackling predatory lending practices, and announcing that city benefits will now be offered to same-sex spouses. Despite several attempts by the Harris County Republican Party to block the action, the new benefits coverage remains in effect.

But there’s at least one person that is still not eligible for those benefits… Houston’s First Lady Kathy Hubbard. Though she and Mayor Parker have been together 23 years, the state of Texas does not allow them to marry simply because they are gay. At one point, the Mayor stated that she wanted to be married in her home state of Texas, and was willing to wait around for the state-level ban to be struck down. But now, those plans have changed. Clifford Pugh of Culturemap Houston reported in late December that the Mayor was making plans to wed in Mid-January. This would be the assumed time as well because January 16th is the couple’s 23rd anniversary.  Sources confirmed to Texas Leftist that close friends of the couple were in route to Palm Springs, California. The Mayor and Hubbard were wed in a private ceremony.  

Now to be clear, the Mayor has said that the couple’s decision to get married is personal (as it should be), and has nothing to do with the city’s decision to extend benefits to same-sex spouses. That was made because of the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. But even if the Mayor and First Lady stay out of the legal toggle, their marriage is sure to be news in the LGBT community.

This week Houston’s First Couple made it official. Stay tuned for updates. Congratulations to our Mayor and First Lady!!! 

(Please note: This post from Wednesday January 15th was updated to reflect confirmation on January 16th.)