That was a major reversal for the all-Republican state high court, which previously refused to even consider the benefits case after the U. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Obergefell v. The Texas court changed its mind and heard the case amid intense pressure from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, as well as dozens of other conservative elected officials, church leaders and grassroots activists.
Gay Marriage States: History of Same Sex Marriage in US
Same-sex marriage in Texas - Wikipedia
Paxton would have been expected to represent the commission as part of his charge to defend state agencies, the Houston Chronicle reported. The commission said Hensley has refused to perform same-sex weddings since August , despite the U. Since , the general practice in Texas has been that judges either perform all types of marriages or none. But Hensley, a Christian, argued she could continue officiating straight marriages and refer same-sex couples to others because it conflicts with her beliefs. After the ruling, Paxton issued a legal opinion arguing that Texas clerks and judges with religious objections could not be forced to officiate those marriages or process the paperwork. Paxton reiterated those same sentiments during a radio interview in December.
Gay Marriage by State 2021
In the United States, same-sex marriage is recognized by the federal government and has been legalized in 36 U. Among the 38 states where same-sex marriage is legal to at least some degree, marriage is open to same-sex couples statewide in 35 of those, while it is restricted in 3 of them. Missouri recognizes same-sex marriages from out of state and same-sex marriages licensed by the City of St. Louis under a state court order ; two other jurisdictions issue such licenses as well. In Kansas , marriage licenses are available to same-sex couples in most counties, but the state does not recognize their validity.
According to the all-Republican Texas court, the U. Equality Texas, a gay rights advocacy group, said the Texas Supreme Court decision "clings to unconstitutional notions of separate but equal. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also praised the ruling, saying it "recognized that Texas law is still important when it comes to marriage. Supreme Court declared a right to same-sex marriage, that ruling did not resolve all legal issues related to marriage," Paxton said. Hodges applies to spousal benefits provided by the city of Houston.