Gay Marriage In Texas
Manplay.com is the site where you can read about Texas gay marriage, history, stats & find out how it took the Supreme Court to finally change legislation. The state of Texas defined marriage as a union between a couple of the opposite sex, and there were no forms of a gay relationship that were legally recognized in the state. Gay marriage was rigorously forbidden until the 2015 ruling by the Supreme Court for two reasons: first being the Defense of Marriage Act, this states that marriage is solely between one man and one woman and the second reason is that the state of Texas banned same-sex marriage in 2005 when it passed a constitutional amendment. Since the ban, there have been legal objections to the amendment itself as well as to the wording of it. The definition of marriage in Texas has been challenged because it is said that it infringes on the civil rights of individuals. When forbidding gay people from getting married until the Supreme Court ruling, these individuals were not able to obtain the rights of marriage. So, in Texas, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) men and women had no right to marry and they also had no rights or responsibilities associated with marriage in the state.
Gay couples who want to marry had no rights legally to get married, unlike straight, heterosexual couples. Gay marriage had been made illegal in Texas due to the wording of the amendment in the constitution. The constitution clearly worded that it was forbidden to issue a marriage license to a gay couple in Texas prior to the ruling. What makes the amendment so strong is that they have also included wording so that state and local governments were unable legally to recognize any union, including a civil union or a domestic partnership that even resembles marriage. The wording may have actually gone a bit too far as it appears that the law can be interpreted to mean that all couples, gay or straight are prohibited from getting married. This excited many gay marriage supporters as it seemed as though the state of Texas may have outlawed marriage altogether, which meant that equal rights would have to be given to everyone, gay or straight. This left many gay marriage activists hoping that the state would reconsider the ban on gay marriage. Then as of June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is legal in all of the U.S.
Texas still believes that although the Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is now legal in all states, this amendment supersedes the ruling.
Texas Gay Marriage History
Texas legislature restricted the issue of marriage licenses to gay couples in 1997. Then the legislature executed a state statute that any gay marriage or civil unions were not legal as of 2003, nor were any civil unions, domestic partnerships or gay marriages that were performed in any other state. There was a House Bill, 1300, brought forward by Lon Burnam, that would have abolished the ban on same-sex marriages in 2013, but the bill died with the State Affairs committee before being approved. Then the Senate Bill 480, brought forward by Juan Hinojosa would have abolished the civil union ban but this too died in committee. Two judges, in 2014, Judge Orlando Garcia, of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, and Judge Barbara Nellermoe, of the 45th Judicial District Court of Bexar County, both found that the ban on gay marriage in Texas was unconstitutional. At this time, both of these cases are being appealed, which no longer matters how with the recent ruling from the Supreme Court.
Now, same-sex gay marriage IS, in fact, legal in the state of Texas and all states in the United States of America after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015. But this ruling is being challenged by lawmakers from Texas. Many gay couples began to apply for and get marriage licenses in some Texas counties within a few hours of the Supreme Court ruling, but many counties waited for direction from state officials, the Attorney General, and also from local county attorneys. The counties were also stalling by waiting for marriage license forms that were corrected to make them gender neutral. There were a few counties in Texas where local judges and officials refused to marry gay couples based on their personal religious beliefs. The Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton issued an opinion to support these officials who refused to approve gay marriage licenses or who refused to perform the ceremonies in opposition to the Supreme Court ruling. It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court handles opinions released by Attorney Generals concerning this. In August 2015, there were two counties in Texas that were refusing to issue same-sex couples marriage licenses, both counties claimed they were waiting for the implementation of the updated paperwork and software, but they did, in fact, begin issuing gay couples marriage licenses on September 4, 2015.
As of February 17, 2016, the only holdout in Texas is from Irion County. It is one of only four counties in all of the United States that refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses, choosing to ignore the Supreme Court ruling, the three other counties are in Kentucky.
Before this ruling, gay marriage was not legal anywhere in the state of Texas. There was one instance where the state court made an exception and ordered the Travis County clerk to issue one same-sex marriage license due to one of the women being ill.
Texas Gay Marriage Statistics
The numbers of gay couples who are getting married are quite large in Texas now that same-sex marriage is legal across the country. The Texas Department of Health reported the number of gay marriages to be over 960 since the Supreme Court ruling on June 26. To put this into perspective, there was a total of 25,000 marriage license applications filed in the state of Texas. Today, same-sex marriages in Texas are made of 3.9 percent of all marriages in the state.
Current Status Of Texas Gay Marriage
The current status of Texas gay marriage is that it IS legal in all of the country after the Supreme Court ruling in June of 2015. All gay couples have the legal right to marry and if they are refused the right to marry, the couple can fight it and will win the right to a legal marriage. There are many, many supports for gay couples to reach out to and use in this instance. This is not to say that there may not be changes or appeals to the ruling in the future. This may very well be the case and is in fact expected from those who are anti-gay marriage. Even President Obama believes that the ruling sent down from the Supreme Court is a step in the right direction toward equal rights for all Americans across the country.
Future Status Of Texas Gay Marriage
It looks like gay marriage as well as equal gay rights altogether are here to stay. If there are any changes in the future, it seems as though they will be to move toward more equal rights for the LGBT community as a whole. Yes, there may be appeals to the Supreme Court ruling from June 2015, that made gay marriage legal in all of the United States, but it seems unlikely that the laws will be reversed to make gay marriage illegal in the future. Lawmakers and state officials may not like the Supreme Court ruling, but they are going to have to learn to accept it, even if they do not support it. When the Supreme Court sends a ruling down such as this, it is law and MUST be followed. There are sure to be severe reproductions to those individuals who are in the positions that issue marriage licenses as well as for those that perform the actual marriage itself who refuse to carry out their duties as these officials.