GOVERNMENT: Legislature

State Won't Track Gay Marriage Numbers

Laura LeBoeuf and Angie Balmer at a ceremony at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on June 26, 2015.
Laura LeBoeuf and Angie Balmer at a ceremony at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on June 26, 2015.

On the first day of legal same-sex marriage, more than 465 same-sex couples were issued marriage licenses in 10 of the state's largest counties. But keeping track of how many licenses are issued over time may prove difficult.

 

Gay Rights Activists: Fight is Only Just Getting Started

Gay rights activists held a demonstration on Monday, June 29, 2015, in front of the Texas Capitol. The event came a few days after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. Speakers at the event included (from left) Cleo DeLeon, Chad Griffin, Jim Obergefell, Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, Rebecca Robertson and Kathy Miller.
Gay rights activists held a demonstration on Monday, June 29, 2015, in front of the Texas Capitol. The event came a few days after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. Speakers at the event included (from left) Cleo DeLeon, Chad Griffin, Jim Obergefell, Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, Rebecca Robertson and Kathy Miller.

Now that same-sex marriage is legal, gay rights activists are setting their sights on pushing for more protections for LGBT people. In front of the Texas Capitol, activists on Monday vowed to target discrimination in areas including employment and housing.

 

Benefits Should Follow Same-Sex Marriages

A couple arranges a marriage license at the Travis County Clerk's office on June 26, 2015.
A couple arranges a marriage license at the Travis County Clerk's office on June 26, 2015.

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling establishing the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, public employers are now figuring out how and when spouses of married gay employees will start receiving benefits.

Supreme Court: Gay Marriage Bans Are Unconstitutional

Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss of Plano at an LBJ Library press conference celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015. Holmes and Phariss had sued Texas over its same-sex marriage ban.
Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss of Plano at an LBJ Library press conference celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015. Holmes and Phariss had sued Texas over its same-sex marriage ban.

Handing gay rights advocates a monumental victory, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that marriages between couples of the same sex cannot be prohibited by states, a decision that overrides Texas’ ban on gay marriage.

Paxton to County Clerks: Wait for Direction on Gay Marriage

TX Attorney General Ken Paxton, speaks to media following remarks at event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan on June 22, 2015
TX Attorney General Ken Paxton, speaks to media following remarks at event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan on June 22, 2015

If the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants county clerks to hold off on issuing marriage licenses to such couples until his office has given them direction.

 

Emails Provide Rare Glimpse Into Abbott World

Gov. Greg Abbott after signing Senate Bill 2065, the Pastor Protection Act, into law.
Gov. Greg Abbott after signing Senate Bill 2065, the Pastor Protection Act, into law.

Dozens of emails obtained by the Tribune provide a rare peek into the private deliberations of Gov. Greg Abbott. The emails paint a portrait of a chief executive more interested in the nitty-gritty of state policy than what’s known of his predecessor. 

Texas Balking as Federal Climate Rules Loom

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to media after keynoting a June 2015 event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to media after keynoting a June 2015 event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

Come August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may require Texas to cut 200 billion pounds of carbon emissions over the next two decades. Top Republican officials still won’t confirm whether Texas will flout those rules — an option that some critics call risky.