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Posts Tagged ‘gay marriage’

Mimi Swartz’s Mayoral campaign rant

Here it is. What if they held a mayoral race and nobody came? That’s the question plaguing many people currently involved in Houston politics—even if no one else in town is asking it. This phenomenon isn’t entirely new: in 2009,* a measly 19 percent of Houston voters turned out for the general election to make […]

How much do you hate same sex marriage?

Not as much as this guy does. Ammon J. Taylor of San Antonio is so vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage that he took the unusual step of forming a federal super PAC to fight it. The 27-year-old salesman is taking a seldom-tried — some would say improbable — approach. He wants to muster a convention […]

2015 Texas Lyceum poll

Issues first, election stuff to come. From the press release: The 2015 Texas Lyceum Poll Finds:  Immigration remains the most important issue facing the state and Texans support lawmakers’ increased spending on border security. Texans’ views on  gay marriage are changing. Forty nine percent of Texans support gay marriage – up from 29 percent in 2009. […]

Counting the number of same sex marriages in Texas

Fewer than I’d have guessed, but still a decent amount percentage-wise. Statewide, an estimated 2,500 same-sex couples have received marriage licenses in Texas since the [Obergfell] ruling. There is no exact accounting of how many same-sex marriage licenses have been issued in Texas or Tarrant County because gender is no longer listed on licenses. But […]

Getting back into the marriage game

It was too good to stay away. Two Harris County justices of the peace have resumed officiating weddings this week after a brief hiatus in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on marriage equality. Judges Russ Ridgway and Jeff Williams stopped marrying couples after the high court on June 26 legalized same-sex […]

Paxton loses again on same sex marriage

Good. Turning aside objections from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Travis County judge approved an out-of-court settlement Tuesday that recognizes the eight-year relationship of two Austin women as a common-law marriage. The settlement accepted by Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ended an estate fight between Sonemaly Phrasavath and family members of the woman […]

Paxton still fighting same sex marriage

Some things never change. Despite his recent pledge to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, Attorney General Ken Paxton is already seeking to prevent the decision from being applied in an Austin estate case. Paxton’s office filed a motion August 25 in Travis County’s probate court aimed at blocking an Austin woman […]

State gets the bill for fighting same sex marriage

Please pay promptly. The attorneys for same-sex couples who successfully challenged Texas’ gay marriage ban in federal court are seeking nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in fees and costs from the state. In a 27-page motion filed Friday, attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in San Antonio asked U.S. District Judge Orlando […]

Paxton’s contempt saga officially ends

I’m sure he’s so relieved. A federal judge has canceled next week’s contempt-of-court hearing for Attorney General Ken Paxton, saying it is not needed because Texas government agencies have begun acknowledging same-sex marriages. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia had ordered Paxton and a state health official to appear in his San Antonio courtroom last month […]

Does your JP still do marriages?

Some do and some don’t. Last Wednesday, Judge Dale Gorczynski, a justice of the peace in Harris County, heard 19 eviction cases, sent 147 traffic and misdemeanor cases to trial and presided over five weddings: Three for same-sex couples and two for heterosexual couples. It was the first time gay couples outnumbered straight ones in […]

Divorce granted to same sex couple in Tarrant County

At some point, stories like this will cease to be news. It took two Tarrant County women nearly two years to legally end their failed marriage because of the tangle of state and federal law. But on Thursday, Brooke Powell and Cori Jo Long were finally divorced after a five-minute hearing before state District Judge […]

Paxton asks to be excused from contempt hearing

He promises he’s been a good boy, so can he please come out of time out now? Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office says he shouldn’t face a contempt hearing for failing to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, and no longer needs judicial supervision to ensure he’s doing so. In an advisory […]

The cost of defying the law on same sex marriage

Nearly $44K in attorneys’ fees, and it could have been worse. It has been a month since Joe Stapleton and Jim Cato finally got the marriage license Hood County Clerk Katie Lang denied them because of her religious beliefs. It only took a federal lawsuit to get it. Today that suit was settled, and according […]

State issues new guidelines for birth and death certificates

That was quick. The state has issued new guidelines for filing and changing vital records to recognize same-sex marriage status, as ordered by a federal judge in San Antonio In a court advisory filed late Wednesday, the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Department of State Health Services said they believe the new guidelines […]

State Health Services department finally amends that death certificate

Good. Complying with a federal court order, Texas has issued an amended death certificate acknowledging a Conroe man as the husband of a same-sex spouse who had died in January. The men had been married in New Mexico in 2014, when Texas still banned gay marriage. Shortly after the change was made Thursday night, state […]

There’s more to complying with SCOTUS than issuing marriage licenses

Looks like Ken Paxton may get to learn that the hard way. A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Texas must recognize the same-sex marriage of a Conroe resident by naming him as the surviving spouse on his late husband’s death certificate. And U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia also ordered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and […]

Bridal Extravaganza happily adjusts to a same-sex marriage world

Love is love, and business is business. Vendors in the industry, from florists to caterers, are seeing a bumper crop of same-sex Texas weddings. “I think there’s going to be some pent-up demand, and that’s exciting,” said Laurette Veres, Bridal Extravaganza producer. In Texas, same-sex weddings could generate at least $182 million in total spending […]

Woodfill is still pursuing his anti-same-sex benefits lawsuit

From the inbox and the febrile mind of Jared Woodfill: Last year Houston Judge Lisa Millard granted a temporary injunction and ordered Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the City of Houston to immediately stop recognizing same-sex ‘marriages’ and stop providing benefits to the same-sex couples married in other states. Judge Millard stated, “This court does […]

Paxton concedes FMLA lawsuit

Excellent. Almost a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton quietly conceded a case against the federal government over medical leave benefits for certain same-sex couples. Paxton and the attorneys general of Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Nebraska filed a voluntary dismissal on Friday with […]

We don’t want to share marriage with those icky gay people

Ed Kilgore detects a new trend. Now that the Christian Right has been reduced to the sputtering defiance of Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal or to the sullen silence of many others, one can hope that conservative acceptance of same-sex marriage will follow as rapidly as it did for the public as a whole. But […]

Revisiting birth certificates

This is one of those next steps that needs to be taken. After the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, some gay and lesbian couples in Texas have raised questions about another legal document – birth certificates. They want Texas birth certificates to list two parents’ names, even if a child has two moms or […]

Rusk County Clerk sets an example

I respect this. The Rusk County Commissioners Court on Monday formally accepted the resignation of County Clerk Joyce Lewis-Kugle, apparently the first Texas elected official to quit office rather than abide by the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. “Before taking office, I was required to take an oath to uphold the laws of […]

There will be more lawsuits

The lawsuit filed in Hood County to force County Clerk Katie Lang to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple won’t be the last one like it. “We hope and expect that county clerks across Texas and the country will take a look at what happened [in Hood County] and do the right […]

Prepare for your time in the spotlight, Irion County

It’s coming. No same-sex couples have sought a marriage license in Irion County, but if or when they do the county clerk is willing to fight it in court. County Clerk Molly Criner has vowed to stand for “natural marriage” and refuses to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit that says […]

Paxton drops another same sex marriage appeal

Another step forward. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton plans to dismiss an appeal challenging a Travis County judge’s February ruling that found the state’s ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision declaring gay couples have a fundamental right to marry left no legal controversy to be decided by […]

Federal lawsuit filed in Hood County

That sound you hear is the rubber meeting the road. The motion for a temporary injunction and temporary restraining order was filed this morning in Fort Worth federal court on behalf of Soifer’s clients, Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton, who’ve been together for 27 years. The couple has been trying to get a marriage license […]

And the battle moves to Irion County

“Where the heck is Irion County?” I hear you cry. Just the home of the next County Clerk that needs to be schooled on the Constitution, and not her dime store “understanding” of it. The county clerk in tiny Irion County is standing firm on her decision to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, […]

Here come the lawyers

I don’t see how the squadron of anti-equality attorneys has a case in the wake of Obergfell, but they’re gonna try their best to muck things up anyway. Now, conservative attorneys are gearing up to defend [government employees who refuse to recognize gay marriage because of religious objections], saying they are confident existing laws will […]

Paxton takes the culture-warrior lead

Well, at least he’s found his calling in life. In the six months before Ken Paxton won election as Texas attorney general last fall, he stayed largely out of sight. Under an ethical cloud amid claims of financial fraud, he avoided public events and rarely spoke to reporters, coasting to victory as part of new […]

The wedding industry is rubbing its hands with glee

Nothing like having your market dramatically expanded overnight. Within hours after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in Texas and across the country, local wedding businesses and venues already began getting orders and bookings from same-sex couples. Those in the wedding industry said they expect a surge of gay couples who were hoping to marry […]

Lawsuit threatened in Hood County over clerk’s refusal to issue marriage license

I was beginning to think that none of Texas’ 254 County Clerks were going to attempt to martyr themselves in the name of their “religious freedom” to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. I shouldn’t have worried. Attorneys for a same-sex couple are preparing to sue Hood County Clerk Katie Lang after the couple […]

Texas throws in the towel with the Fifth Circuit

Hallelujah. The 5th Circuit should affirm a lower court ruling that overturned Texas’ long-standing ban on same-sex marriage, Scott Keller, the state’s solicitor general, wrote in a letter to the appellate court. That letter was in response to the appellate court’s request that the state and the plaintiffs advise the court on the next steps […]

On to the benefits

Now that same sex marriage is the law of the land, Texas employers need to make sure that the spousal benefits they offer apply to all spouses. “If an employer provides benefits to anyone who is currently married, they must now treat gay and lesbian employees the same and offer them the exact same benefits,” […]

Ready to engage in the next fight

No rest for the righteous. On Monday, national and state gay rights leaders and the plaintiffs who sued for marriage equality convened in front of the Texas Capitol to make a different kind of vow: The fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is not over. The next frontier, they said, is pushing for […]