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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 20, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 08
Texas courts allow one same-sex marriage, block the rest
Section One
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Texas courts allow one same-sex marriage, block the rest

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A Texas district judge allowed one Lesbian couple to marry February 18, but just hours later the state Supreme Court ordered a halt to all other same-sex marriages.

Judge David Wahlberg ordered Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir to issue a marriage license for Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant. The two were married by Rabbi Kerry Baker immediately afterward, in front of the county clerk's office.

Goodfriend and Bryant had been together 31 years, and had been denied a marriage license when they applied eight years ago. They have two teenage daughters, Dawn and Ting.

The Texas ban on same-sex marriage has been invalidated by a federal court, but that decision has been stayed pending a hearing by the Fifth Circuit Court or a final decision on marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wahlberg issued the license to Goodfriend and Bryant, after consulting with Travis County Attorney David Escamilla, because one of the couple has cancer and may not live to see the issue finally resolved.

According to Burnt Orange Report, a local Gay publication, the marriage cannot be invalidated under state law without the consent of the spouses. Nevertheless, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told The Associated Press he is seeking to void the marriage, but did not offer any further explanation.

The Texas Supreme Court also intervened with an emergency order blocking any further same-sex marriage licenses. That order does not affect the Goodfriend-Bryant marriage, but it will prevent other couples from marrying, even if they have similar health issues.

Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on Gay marriage in 2005.

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