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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriage (SSM) in Texas

Part 4:
2015-FEB: Attorney General attempts to forcibly
divorce the same-sex couple who just married.
2015-APR: Leading Republican predicts American
culture may collapse is SSM legalized.

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On this web site, the acronym SSM refers to same-sex marriage. "LGBT"
refers to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender/Transsexual community.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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2015-FEB-20: Attorney General attempts to forcibly divorce the same-sex couple against their will:

Convinced that one same-sex married couple in Texas is one too many, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), asked the Texas Supreme Court to review the case and to void the couple's license, He said:

"The law of Texas has not changed, and will not change due to the whims of any individual judge or county clerk operating on their own capacity anywhere in Texas."

He expressed concern that "legal chaos" would result if county clerks across Texas interpreted the state court's order to apply to additional couples. He wrote in his petition to the state Supreme Court that:

"If that occurred, the harm to the couples, state officials, and the general public would be difficult if not impossible to undo."

The "whims" of the state judge have been actually shared by about 70 state and federal judges since mid-2013 who have ruled across the U.S. in favor of the right of same-sex couples to marry .

Chuck Herring, the couple's attorney, believes that Attorney General Paxton's petition is "procedurally improper." He said:

"He’s out of touch with history, he’s out of touch with constitutional law as declared by the United States Supreme Court, and it remains cold-hearted, mean-spirited, and just a terrible thing for him to try to do to a woman who has ovarian cancer."

Alexandra Albright, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said:

"As far as bringing a lawsuit to invalidate [their marriage], it sounds like a stretch."

Referring to the state Supreme Court, Albright said:

"I don’t think they see any reason to hurry up and try to issue an opinion before the U.S. Supreme Court decides."

The Texas Supreme Court immediately issued an emergency order to block any attempts by additional same-sex couples to marry in Texas. 1

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The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling during 2015-June or July in the case Obergefell v. Hodges. That decision will probably determine whether same-sex marriages are to be available across the entire country. This will include Texas, unless the state decides to secede from the United States as the Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM) is advocating. 2

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Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry -- one of the leading national groups promoting marriage equality, said:

"This is a historic day for fairness and equality in Texas. The family that Suzanne and Sarah have built together over more than three decades of commitment to each other mirrors the love between so many same-sex couples in Texas, all of whom deserve the freedom to marry."

State Rep. Celia Israel, (D) issued saying:

"They love their family. They love our community. And I know they are thrilled to get married in the state they are proud to call home." 3,4,5

Sarah Goodfriend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014-MAY and finished her last round to chemotherapy in 2014-SEP. She said:

"When you get out of chemotherapy, I think all of us wonder if the cancer grows back along with our hair growing back. ... This really is very, very meaningful to our family to have the kind of ability to make personal decisions, health decisions, and financial decisions as a family going forward." 6

The U.S. Supreme Court held a hearing during 2015-APR-28 in a case involving four states' bans on same-sex marriage: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. The Justices are expected to issue their ruling during late 2015-June or early July. Many commentators are speculating that the high court may legalize same-sex marriage across the country, including in Texas.

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2015-APR-22: Republican leader predicts toppling of the American culture if marriage equality arrives:

Cathie Adams was formerly the chairperson of the Texas Republican Party. She is the current president of the Texas Eagle Forum. The forum's mission:

"... is to enable conservative and pro-family men and women to participate in the process of self-government and public policy-making so that America will continue to be a land of individual liberty, respect for family integrity, public and private virtue, and private enterprise. 7

One might think that with their group's respect for individual liberty and family integrity that they would encourage allowing loving committed same-sex couples to marry. However, in fact, the Forum is a main source of opposition to marriage equality in the state.

Speaking at a forum event in Dallas, Ms Adams referred to the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court might extend marriage equality to Texas and to the remaining 12 states and five territories in the U.S. that still ban same-sex marriage. She said:

"I think that it means that the cornerstone of our culture, our society and the traditional family is at stake. That is how important I believe the family is. If we remove that cornerstone then we are causing the entire culture to topple. ... A small segment of society is forcing the rest of our culture to stop thinking independently and freely and is forcing churches to no longer teach a certain way. That is very substantial. To be pushing a radical agenda that goes against all of the thinking of our founders and millennia of history throughout the world is a very dangerous step." 8

By "traditional family" she is apparently referring to only those families led by an opposite-sex marriage couples.

It is unclear what she means by "forcing churches to" change their teachings." Certainly, the state and federal governments are not permitted to do this because of the "wall of separation" between church and state that is so clearly stated in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She many be referring to the massive current exodus of older teens and young adults who are abandoning the conservative churches in which they were raised. Many are leaving because of the latter's teaching on human sexuality in general and the LGBT movement in particular. Their absence is a major concern to many denominations.

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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 Supreme Court issues stay against other same-sex marriages after lesbian couple weds," KPRC-Houston, 2015-FEB-19 at: http://www.click2houston.com/
  2. The Texas Nationalist Movement's web site is at: http://texnat.org/
  3. "Texas issues first marriage license to same-sex couple," New York Post, 2015-FEB-19, at: http://nypost.com/
  4. Alexa Ura and Ryan McCrimmon, "Paxton Asks Court to Void Marriage License of Gay Couple," The Texas Tribune, 2015-FEB-20, at:http://www.texastribune.org/
  5. Alexa Ura, "Austin Gay Couple Becomes First to Wed in Texas ," The Texas Tribune, 2015-FEB-19, at: http://www.texastribune.org/
  6. Katey Psencik and Ashley Goudeau, "Texas attorney general: Same-sex marriage is void," USA Today, 2015-FEB-19, at: http://www.usatoday.com/
  7. "About Texas Eagle Forum," Texas Eagle Forum, 2015, at: http://texaseagle.org/
  8. Dylan Baddour, "Same-sex marriage 'the end of America,' Texas GOP speaker says," Houston Chronicle, 2015-MAY-12, at: http://www.chron.com/

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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-FEB
Last updated 2015-MAY-12
Author: Bruce A Robinson
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