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Texas AG asks state Supreme Court to void same‑sex couple’s marriage

Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant kiss at a reception in Austin following their marriage earlier that morning Thursday Feb. 19, 2015. Goodfriend and Bryant are the first legally wed gay couple in Texas.
Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant kiss at a reception in Austin following their marriage earlier that morning Thursday Feb. 19, 2015. Goodfriend and Bryant are the first legally wed gay couple in Texas.

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The marriage license given to the Austin women – who succeeded by seizing on a ruling this week in an unrelated estate squabble – thrust the nation’s second most populous state back into the national spotlight over gay marriage but didn’t send same-sex couples rushing to Texas courthouses.

The number of states in which gay and lesbian couples can marry has nearly doubled to 37 since October after the U.S. Supreme allowed lower court rulings to stand and rejected state efforts to keep same sex marriage bans in place.

The Texas Supreme Court acted quickly Thursday after an emergency appeal by Paxton to block other potential gay marriages, making the nuptials somewhat bittersweet for Bryant and Goodfriend.

“We just feel like we were in the right place at the right time, to maybe put a nice crack in that door that’s going to open up for all Texans,” Bryant said.

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Goodfriend, 58, has ovarian cancer. A state district judge raised the “severity and uncertainty” of her condition in granting the women permission to marry, sending the couple scrambling through a Travis County clerk building in case state Republican leaders got wind and intervened.

Courts in Indiana made a similar exception for a lesbian couple in April because one of the women was dying of cancer and wanted her partner’s name on her death certificate. A federal appeals court overturned Indiana’s ban in September.

A federal judge in San Antonio last year overturned Texas’ same-sex marriage ban but put his ruling on hold while the state appeals to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Image courtesy of Shelby Tauber, The Daily Texan (AP)

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