Tribpedia: Gay Marriage

In May 2005, Texas legislators amended the state Constitution to specify that "marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman." That November, about 76 percent of Texas voters approved the gay-marriage ban.

Before and after that, however, transgender marriage cases sparked controversies and confusion about what, for the sake of marriage, legally defines ...

The state's Twogether in Texas program grants couples a $60 discount on a marriage license if they take a premarital education class from the state's network of providers, most of which are faith-based groups. Many providers don't plan to open their classes to same-sex couples.
The state's Twogether in Texas program grants couples a $60 discount on a marriage license if they take a premarital education class from the state's network of providers, most of which are faith-based groups. Many providers don't plan to open their classes to same-sex couples.

Few Options for Gay Couples in State Marriage Classes

Many of the providers in a state program that gives engaged Texans a discount on a marriage license if they take a premarital counseling course do not plan to open up the classes to same-sex couples. State lawmakers created Twogether in Texas in 2007.

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.

Spouses of Gay Public Employees Eligible for Benefits

As of Wednesday, public employers including Texas agencies and universities will allow current and retired gay and lesbian employees to enroll their same-sex spouses in the same benefit programs and services available to opposite-sex couples.

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.

State Won't Track Gay Marriage Numbers

On the first day gay marriage became legal in Texas thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, 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.

Cleo DeLeon (left) and Nicole Dimetman, the Texas marriage plantiffs, during press conference on June 29, 2015 at Texas Capitol days after the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality
Cleo DeLeon (left) and Nicole Dimetman, the Texas marriage plantiffs, during press conference on June 29, 2015 at Texas Capitol days after the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality

With Marriage Decided, Adoption Rights Next

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage, family law attorneys are gearing up to make sure Texas birth certificates reflect the ruling and allow same-sex couples who have or adopt children to get full parental rights.

Jeff Sralla, left, with his partner of 28 years, Gerard Gafford, at the Travis County Clerk's office, where they applied for a marriage license after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide on June 26, 2015. Travis County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately after the ruling, but other counties did not.
Jeff Sralla, left, with his partner of 28 years, Gerard Gafford, at the Travis County Clerk's office, where they applied for a marriage license after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide on June 26, 2015. Travis County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately after the ruling, but other counties did not.

Some Counties Withholding Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Three days after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide, some Texas county clerks are refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. 

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.

Gay Rights Activists: Fight is Only Just Getting Started

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 vowed to target discrimination in areas including employment and housing.

 

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.

Paxton: Clerks Don't Have to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

County clerks in Texas who have religious objections to same-sex marriage can opt out of issuing such licenses — but they should be prepared to face fines or legal challenges, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a written opinion on Sunday. 

Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin greets Anthony Tang and Jayme Mathias after a program at the Central Presbyterian Church on June 26, 2015  after the  U.S. Supreme Court overturned state bans on gay marriage June 26, 2015
Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin greets Anthony Tang and Jayme Mathias after a program at the Central Presbyterian Church on June 26, 2015 after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned state bans on gay marriage June 26, 2015

Ceremonies and Celebration as Marriages Begin

After rushing to get licenses, Texas same-sex couples exercised their new right to marry following the U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended states' bans on gay marriage. In Austin, many celebrated later at a downtown event attended by the mayor and plaintiffs in the suit for Texas marriage equality.

 

 

 

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.

Benefits Should Follow Same-Sex Marriages

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.

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.

Republicans Vow a Religious Liberty Fight

Texas' Republican leaders suffered a historic loss on Friday when the U.S. Supreme Court held that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional. But social conservatives vowed not to go down without a fight over religious liberty.

Jacque Roberts, left, and Carmelita Cabello, the second couple to receive a marriage license in Travis County on June 26, 2015, leave the clerk's office. They had been together 31 years.
Jacque Roberts, left, and Carmelita Cabello, the second couple to receive a marriage license in Travis County on June 26, 2015, leave the clerk's office. They had been together 31 years.

Texas Counties' Responses to Marriage Ruling Vary

Elated couples across Texas hurried into county clerks' offices Friday to apply for marriage licenses following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Some offices quickly began issuing licenses, including those in Travis, Tarrant, Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Hidalgo and Midland counties. Other counties were waiting to hear from State Attorney General Ken Paxton on how to proceed.

 

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.

Supreme Court: Gay Marriage Bans Are Unconstitutional

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’ long-standing ban 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

Paxton to County Clerks: Wait for Direction on Gay Marriage

If the Supreme Court rules in the coming days 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.

UT/TT Poll: Texans Divided on Gay Marriage

Texas voters remain divided over a question — should same-sex couples be allowed to marry? — now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Their answers are clearer on reducing penalties for possession of marijuana and restricting judicial bypasses to parental consent for minors seeking abortions.

During the Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally on Mar. 23, 2015 at the Texas Capitol, a protester raises questions of marriage sanctity noting celebrities who've been married multiple times.
During the Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally on Mar. 23, 2015 at the Texas Capitol, a protester raises questions of marriage sanctity noting celebrities who've been married multiple times.

House Republicans Reaffirm Support of Gay Marriage Ban

House Republicans want Texans to know they still oppose same-sex marriage – even if foot-dragging Democrats thwarted a debate on the polarizing subject Thursday night.