What same-sex marriage ruling means for Texas

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by TINA SHIVELY / KVUE News and Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @TinaS_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 10 at 8:40 AM

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to make a major policy change by extending the recognition of same-sex marriage rights to all states.

The new memo will mean big changes for same-sex couples in the Lone Star State. And there are mixed reactions from people on both sides of the issue.

Holder's memo will be the latest application of a Supreme Court ruling from last June. It struck down a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Critics say a blanket ruling by the U.S. attorney general violates the Tenth Amendment, which allows states to to pass their own laws. They say the Obama Administration is going too far and acting inappropriately by not waiting for Congress to pass laws. It's an issue the president addressed at his State of the Union Speech last month. Supporters of the change are excited that even though they still can't get married in Texas, at the very least, their union will be recognized.

The new policies are focused on federal benefits including spousal rights concerning bankruptcies, prison visits, refusing to testify against a spouse in court, and survivor benefits for the widows and widowers of police officers and firefighters killed on the job. We expect to see the memo from Attorney General Holder later Monday.

Another interesting note on this issue is that things could change when it comes to the actual ban on same-sex marriage in Texas later this week.

Two couples are suing in federal court to get the ban lifted. The State and the three Republican candidates looking to replace State Attorney General Greg Abbott think the lawsuit should be dismissed. 

 

 

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