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Same-sex marriage (SSM) in Texas

Part 3:
2010 to 2014: Public opinion polls.
2015: Lesbian couple receives license and marries.
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2010-SEP to 2014-OCT: Public opinion polls in Texas:

  • 2010-SEP: Texas: The Texas Lyceum Poll surveyed 725 adults in the state. They were asked about civil civil unions and same-sex marriage. Results, with the most popular response listed first, were:
    • 40% preferred that same-sex couples' relationships be not recognized at all by the state. That is, all loving committed same-sex couples would continue to be considered to be mere roommates. The results' margin of error is ±3.6 percentage points

    • 28% preferred that they be able to marry.

    • 24% preferred that same-sex couples have access to civil unions only.

    • 9% had no opinion. 1
  • 2013-JUN: Texas: The Texas Politics Project has been conducting polls into same-sex marriage and civil unions since mid-2009. They found a significant rise in support for the same-sex marriage option since 2010. Results were:
    • 39% favored allowing same-sex couples to marry.

    • 30% favored allowing same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into civil unions, but not marriage.

    • 26% favored not recognizing same-sex couples' relationships in any way.

    • 5% had no opinion. 2

  • 2014-APR-22: Texas: A poll was taken by students at the Texas Tech's Earl Survey Research Lab among about 454 registered Texas adults. When asked only about same-sex marriage, the results showed a plurality in favor of marriage equality:
    • 48% favored legalizing same-sex marriage.

    • 47% opposed same sex marriage

    • 5% had no opinion. 3

    • Although these results show that those favoring same-sex marriage form a 1 percentage point majority, this is well within the ±4.6 percentage points margin of error.

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  • 2014-OCT: Another in the series of polls by students at the University of Texas had a margin of error of ±3.0 percentage points :
    • 39% favored allowing same-sex couples to marry.

    • 28% favored allowing same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into civil unions, but not marriage.

    • 25% favored not recognizing same-sex couples' relationships in any way.

    • 9% had no opinion.

However, when the same subjects were asked whether they were for or against same-sex marriage, the results were:

    • 42% favored legalizing same-sex marriage.

    • 47% opposed same sex marriage

    • 11% had no opinion.

Those undecided were considerably more numerous than in other recent polls. This may indicate that many Texans are considering changing their position.

Ross Ramsey, writing for The Texas Tribune, said:

    "Partisan differences show up in the poll responses. A strong majority of Democrats — 62 percent — would allow gay marriages, even with the alternative of civil unions available. Only 14 percent of Republicans would do that, but another 45 percent would allow civil unions. Voters who identify themselves as independents were closer to the Democrats on this question, with 53 percent approving of gay marriage and another 20 percent in favor of the civil unions option.

    The most frequent churchgoers — those who say they attend more than one service per week — are most likely to oppose same-sex unions: 55 percent say they oppose both marriage and civil unions for those couples. A majority of other churchgoers, including those who say they attend services once a week, would allow some form of unions." 4

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2015-FEB-19: For the first time, a same-sex couple in Texas obtained a marriage certificate and were married:

Suzanne Bryant and Sarah Goodfriend became the first same-sex couple to marry in Texas in recent years. 5 They had been together for about three decades.

The Washington Times reported that a previous same-sex couple had actually been able to obtain a Texas marriage licence in the early 1970's. No other couples had succeeded since that time, and certainly not since 2004 when voters amended the Texas constitution to ban such marriages -- until now. 6

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a federal court that has jurisdiction over Louisiana. Mississippi, and Texas. It has a case before it that is unrelated to this lesbian couple's situation. It was a separate case decided by Travis County District Judge David Wahlberg in a state court. He based his decision on the usual grounds: the state's constitutional amendment violates the Due Process and the Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. These clauses require federal, state, and local governments to treat people, and couples, equally.

A major reason why the judge approved the lesbian couple's license is that Sarah Goodfriend is currently in poor health because of ovarian cancer.

They were marriage by Rabbi Kerry Baker at the county clerk's office on FEB-19.

Suzanne Bryant said at a news conference:

"We are grateful to have had this opportunity to crack the door open in Texas. We hope it will swing open for everyone very soon."

She also said:

"We want to open the door for all LGBT families to have the right to marry in Texas. We were both born in Texas, came back to Texas after we met to build a family and establish our lives here. We plan to die here, and we have waited to get married because, as proud Texans, we want a Texas marriage license."

Sarah Goodfriend said in a statement:

"I want to finally be able to marry the love of my life. In May, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was rushed into emergency surgery. Having faced a life-threatening disease, I realized time is precious and that I wanted to spend it on the things that mattered most — my family."

The couple has two daughters, aged 12 and 17.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Texas Lycenum Poll: Fall 2010," at: This is a PDF file.
  2. "Gay marriage," The Texas Politics Project,"2013-JUN, at:
  3. Kat Calahan, "Poll: More Texans Support Same-Sex Marriage Than Oppose,", 2014-APR-22, at:
  4. Ross Ramsey, "UT/TT Poll: Conditional Support for Same-Sex Unions " The Texas Tribune, 2014-OCT-29, at:
  5. Photo of Bryant and Goodfriend is on the Washington Times web site, undated, at:
  6. Cheryl K. Chumley, "Texas issues gay marriage license to Sarah Goodfriend, Suzanne Bryant," 2015-FEB-19, at:

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Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu> Texas > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage> Texas > here

Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 2015-JAN-11
Last updated 2015-MAY-12
Author: Bruce A Robinson
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