First Same-Sex Couple Married In Austin | KERA News

First Same-Sex Couple Married In Austin

Feb 19, 2015

A same-sex couple was married in Travis County despite the statewide gay marriage ban.

KUT in Austin reports:

Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant were married this morning in Austin. The county clerk issued the couple a same-sex marriage license based on a court order.

"I am happily following the court order, but the court order only applies to this one couple," says Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir. "And it is based on the idea that there are circumstances with this couple…one of them is medically fragile and they may not survive the wait on what the courts are going to rule in the future as a final decision about gay marriage."

Bryant and Goodfriend filed a petition against Debeauvoir based on an order handed down Tuesday by probate Judge Guy Herman that declared Texas' gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Judge [David] Wahlberg ordered today in favor of the couple's petition, which asked Debeauvoir to issue a license to the couple.

KUT reported Tuesday: County Clerk Elections Coordinator Ginny Ballard says that the County Attorney's office is examining Judge [Guy] Herman's order alongside ongoing federal litigation on marriage equality before it takes action.”

The order handed down ruled that the ban violated the 14th amendment by restricting marriage to the "union of a man and a woman."

Shortly after Goodfriend and Bryant were married, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the Texas Supreme Court to halt an order that allowed an Austin same-sex couple to marry, according to the Associated Press. Paxton released a press release regarding the event. 

Later Thursday, the Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency order blocking gay couples from obtaining marriage licenses after a lesbian couple wed in Austin.

Thursday's ruling doesn't invalidate the marriage of the two women who were allowed to marry hours earlier based on a one-time court order issued for health reasons. One of the women has cancer.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says he is seeking to void the marriage license through other means, though he didn't provide details.

Read more here