Texas Supreme Court bans same-sex marriages, again

Austin, Feb 20:

The Supreme Court of the state of Texas in the US has once again banned same-sex marriages in the state, suspending two rulings that had allowed the issuance of a marriage licence to a same-sex couple.

SAME SEXNine judges, all Republicans, agreed Thursday to suspend a verdict by Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman who had ruled that the Texan ban since 2005 on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.

They also stayed the authorisation by Travis County District Judge David Wahlberg for the issuance of a marriage certificate to Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, who became the first lesbian couple in the history of Texas to be legally married.

On Thursday, Texan Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the state’s Supreme Court to overturn both rulings.

Calling Herman and Wahlberg “activist judges”, Paxton said the marriage between the two women was invalid.

The attorney general’s statement has raised questions about the legality of the marriage since the Supreme Court’s stay order refers to the authorisation by the judge but not to the marriage licence.

In a 2005 referendum, 76 percent of Texans voted against same-sex marriages.

So far, out of the 254 counties in this conservative state, Travis county has been the only one to show support for same-sex marriages.

Marriages between members of the same sex are legal in 38 states of the US and banned in 12.

This year, the US Supreme Court is expected to deliver a verdict on the legality of such unions in the country. IANS

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