Breaking: First Same-Sex Marriage Performed In Texas

Travis County clerk issues first same-sex marriage license in Texas. Image via Austin Statesman

Travis County clerk issues first same-sex marriage license in Texas.
Image via Austin Statesman

Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant have been together for almost thirty one years. Thursday morning, after being denied a marriage license in Travis County, Texas eight years ago, Sarah and Suzanne said “I do,” surrounded by friends and family, including their two teenage daughters. Travis County clerk Dana DeBeauvoir was ordered by Judge David Wahlberg to issue the license, after Sarah and Suzanne’s attorney submitted a petition to the court. Sarah Goodfriend has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and in their petition, both women stated not being able to obtain a marriage license was causing them “irreparable harm.”

From Austin-American Statesman:

In their petition to Wahlberg, the couple said the inability to obtain a marriage license was causing them irreparable harm, particularly because Goodfriend has been diagnosed and treated for ovarian cancer.

Saying they had no adequate legal remedy to enforce their right to marry, the couple asked Wahlberg to issue a restraining order directing DeBeauvoir to issue a marriage license and waive the 72-hour waiting period.

At 9:25 a.m., Wahlberg’s order arrived at the county clerk’s office. Bryant and Goodfriend immediately filled out the paperwork and quickly walked to the site of their vows.

The Travis County clerk’s office complied with the order, but that’s as far as they are willing to go. They released a statement, clarifying they are not issuing licenses to same-sex couples. On February 10, a Travis County probate judge ruled Texas’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, and last year, a federal judge ruled the same.

The Texas Tribune featured an article sharing opinions from attorneys representing two gay couples in Texas:

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way for gay marriage in Alabama, there is little reason not to allow same-sex marriages to begin in Texas, attorneys for two gay couples told a federal appeals court Thursday.

It would be nice if states that still ban marriage equality would understand that allowing gay couples to marry will not destroy the world. Letting two consenting adults tie the knot is nothing more than letting two consenting adults tie the knot. When gay marriage became legal in our state, my husband did not suddenly express lustful feeling for our lawn mower, nor was my neighbor immediately attracted to our cat. Gay couples simply want the same legal rights the rest of us married folk enjoy. They want to be able to visit their spouse in the hospital, adopt children, be recognized on state tax forms. What’s wrong with that?

Congratulations to Sarah and Suzanne. Forward Progressives sends you our good thoughts, and our hopes for a long and happy marriage. Please keep Sarah Goodfriend in your thoughts as she continues treatment for ovarian cancer.

Erin Nanasi

Erin Nanasi is the creator of The Bachmann Diaries: Satirical Excerpts from Michele Bachmann's Fictional Diary. She hates writing about herself in the third person. Erin enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family. And wombats. Come visit Erin on on Facebook. She also can be found on Twitter at @WriterENanasi.


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