Ken Paxton asks Texas Supreme Court to void same-sex marriage

UPDATE: Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the Texas Supreme Court to confirm that the marriage license issued to an Austin same-sex couple a day earlier was void, arguing that the marriage license was never legally valid.

"The rogue actions of Travis County judges do not withstand the scrutiny of law," Paxton said in a news release. "The same-sex marriage license issued yesterday is not valid because it conflicts with the Texas Constitution and State law — the license is therefore void ab initio. The filing we made today with the Texas Supreme Court confirms these points."

According to KVUE partners at the Austin American-Statesman, Paxton argued that the Supreme Court's Thursday stay, which blocked an order by state District Judge David Wahlberg, confirmed that the state's ban on same-sex marriage remained in effect, voiding "any same-sex marriage in Texas, no matter when or where it was entered into."

AUSTIN -- The first same-sex couple was married in Travis County Thursday, and now state leaders are stepping in trying to stop it and keep it from happening again.

Attorney General Ken Paxton said the marriage license is void just as any license issued in violation of state law would be. It will be up to the courts to decide if he's right. Still, supporters of marriage equality said what happened at the county clerk's office Thursday makes it a great day in Texas.

"What's so great about what happened today is it couldn't have happened to a more loving, committed couple with two beautiful children that have been together for 31 years," said Kirk Rice, development officer with the Human Rights Campaign.

Rice said he hopes this paves the way for other same-sex couples in Texas.

"We're on the right side of history," Rice said. "This is coming. It's coming in Texas. It's coming across the Deep South."

Texas Values President and attorney Jonathan Saenz said it is a defiance of state law by rogue judges.

"The law needs to be supported and so we would like to see the Texas Supreme Court immediately step in and put a stay in place and stop all of this nonsense," Saenz said. "There's no reason for these lower court judges to think that the law does not apply to them."

Paxton immediately intervened, asking the Texas Supreme Court to stay the proceeding. In a statement, he wrote:

"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. Activist judges don't change Texas law and we will continue to aggressively defend the laws of our state and will ensure that any licenses issued contrary to law are invalid."

Marriage equality activists remain confident this same-sex marriage is the first of many.

"There are 37 states that have marriage equality now. Texas doesn't, so this is the first step toward that," Rice said.

The attorney general is also filing suit prohibiting the Travis County clerk from issuing any more same-sex marriage licenses.

"I have every reason to believe that the actions I took this morning were legally correct based on the trial court's order, and that the license my office issued was then and is now valid. There is no further action for me to take at this time," said Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir in a statement.



JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment