Although same-sex couples are allowed to get married in other states, because of a ban on same-sex marriage, this hasn’t been the case for couples who have wanted to get married here in Texas. It’s also because of this ban that same-sex marriage is not recognized by the state. But even though the U.S. Supreme Court overturned DOMA and made same-sex marriage federally recognized, couples here in Texas are still having problems when it comes to validating their marriage status.
As some of our readers may know, this has led two same-sex couples to challenge the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in court this month. And while the cases may not reach a resolution for quite some time, it’s possible that a recent move by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder could give weight to their argument in the future.
According to reports, Attorney General Eric Holder could make an incredibly major policy change soon regarding the recognition of same-sex marriages across the country. Although this policy change will not come without opposition, it could provide same-sex couples with the same spousal rights as heterosexual couples in the state including survivor benefits for widows and widowers of fallen police officers and firefights and even the opportunity to divorce in the state they live. This could prove to be a huge deal for Texas same-sex couples who are currently forced to either live in a sort of marital limbo or move in order to get a divorce.
Whether same-sex marriage will become legal in Texas will depend heavily on the rulings for the two cases currently before the federal court and any policy changes the U.S. Attorney General makes regarding same-sex marriage. It’s entirely possible too that such changes could be considered violations of the Tenth Amendment, which lets states pass their own laws. This could also be argued in court, leading to more litigation and prolonging the lengthy debate on gay rights.
Source: KVUE News, “What same-sex marriage ruling means for Texas,” Tina Shively and Kenneth Null, Feb. 10, 2014