Hundreds celebrate DOMA decision in Austin


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and Photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 27 at 7:44 AM

AUSTIN – Wednesday night a celebration of equal rights poured out on to 4th Street between Lavaca and Colorado Streets.

Austin police shut down the block anticipating a street rally and celebration over a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

A total of 13 U.S. states have legalized same-sex marriage and some believe the Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday opens the door for more of the same in the remaining states.

However what the decision will mean for Texas is anyone’s guess.

In 2005 Texas lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to make it official that marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. Experts on both sides of the issue told KVUE it isn’t clear what this could mean for Texans.

“What that just means is you can't do the ceremony here. If you're married in another state you're going to get all those federal benefits. So we just have to go somewhere else to get the marriage license and come back," said Glen Maxey, the first openly gay Texas lawmaker elected in 1991.

“We don't think Texas is going to be adopting gay marriage. The county clerks are not going to be issuing gay marriage certificates. It doesn't provide for that. People who come from a state where gay marriage is recognized, if they move to Texas, they now have the protection of having their federal rights protected. What that means exactly? We don't know yet," said Travis County clerk Dana DeBeauvoir.

"You're shaking the very foundation of the society and we don't even know what the effects are going to be because marriage and the definition of it being one man and one woman is so essential to not only our legal system but our economic system. Many things are based on that core entity," said legislative aide with Texas Values Julie Drenner.

Neither Texas Governor Rick Perry nor Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott would comment Wednesday regarding what the High Court’s ruling could mean for Texans.