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Texas Top Court Blocks Judge's Order Favoring Gay Marriage

Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 07:05 PM

The Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocked an Austin probate judge’s ruling that same-sex marriages should be legal in the second-largest U.S. state.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans is already weighing a different Austin judge’s 2014 decision that overturned Texas’s gay-marriage ban, which has been kept in place while the court challenge plays out.

The Texas Supreme Court’s decision Thursday puts it in a race with the federal appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court, both of which are considering whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Such marriages are legal in 37 states.

The appeals court has been weighing the legality of gay marriage bans in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, since hearing arguments in January. Also in January, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a different appellate court’s decision permitting gay marriage in four other U.S. states. On Feb. 9, the court refused to put on hold a federal court order and let same-sex marriages begin in Alabama.

A Texas lesbian couple jumped into the gap created by the Austin probate judge’s Feb. 17 ruling and became the first legally married same-sex couple in the state on Wednesday.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, sought to block the Austin ruling and prevent county clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses until the issue is fully litigated in court.

"I will continue to defend the will of the people of Texas, who have defined marriage as between one man and one woman, against any judicial activism or overreach," Paxton said Thursday in a statement.

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The Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocked an Austin probate judge's ruling that same-sex marriages should be legal in the second-largest U.S. state.
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2015-05-19
Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 07:05 PM
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