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In controversial move, Judge expedites Texas' first same-sex marriage license
Suzanne Bryant, Sarah Goodfriend
Suzanne Bryant, left, and Sarah Goodfriend celebrate after being granted a marriage license in Austin on Thursday. On Friday, the state attorney general sought to void their license. (Daulton Venglar / Daily Texan)

Although Texans voted to ban same-sex marriage in 2005, an Austin couple — Suzanne Bryant and Sarah Goodfriend — received their marriage license last Thursday. A state district judge ordered the Travis County clerk not to rely on “the unconstitutional Texas prohibitions against same-sex marriage as a basis for not issuing a marriage license.”

State Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton filed a request Friday with the state Supreme Court to have the union overturned. The stay was issued hours later, but the couple and the Travis County clerk insisted their marriage license remained valid. The Clerk only agreed to issue a license after a second judge ordered her to do so Thursday, citing special medical circumstances: Goodfriend, 58, is battling ovarian cancer.

“We were hopeful that based on my medical condition that Suzanne, after being with me 30 years, would have an opportunity to clearly be the person who makes financial, medical, personal decisions of all kinds,” said Goodfriend.

In the Attorney General’s filing, Paxton’s office and the state solicitor general argued that the trial court “abused its discretion in multiple ways. This ruling may cause same-sex couples to seek marriage licenses across the state, and county clerks may mistakenly rely on that order to begin granting such licenses.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to address the issue of state bans on same-sex marriage later this year while a Texas case is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans.

L.A. Times

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