Same Sex Marriage in Texas – A Look to the Future
06/26/2015 – Same-sex is now legal across the nation. – Alfredo
Texas is currently one of twenty states in the United States which ban same-sex marriage via a constitutional amendment. In October 2014, the US Supreme Court let stand a ruling held by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals finding Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The resulting effect was that same-sex marriage bans are effectively voided in states such as Utah, Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma. By declining to rule on the issue, combined with the changes in attitude toward same-sex marriage throughout the country, it can be inferred that the Supreme Court believes that same-sex marriage will become the norm throughout the United States.
Texas, along with Mississippi and Louisiana, comprises the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has not yet ruled on the issue of same-sex marriage. It appears the tide is changing on the ban however. On November 10, 2014, Texas lawmaker Rep. Farael Anchia (Democrat) introduced a bill into the 2015 Legislative Session that would revise the current state law language specifying that a marriage is between a man and a woman. A similar bill introduced by another lawmaker would add an amendment to the state Constitution. Both of these bills could be voted on by the citizens of Texas in the 2015 elections.
For now, same-sex marriages from other states are not recognized as valid marriages in Texas. A same-sex couple previously married in another state will not be able to procure a divorce from a Texas court, as the Texas court system does not recognize that a valid marriage exists. This has overreaching effects on many family-law related cases other than divorce, including child custody disputes and adoptions.
It is possible for a same sex couple to adopt a child or have a custody arrangement through the family courts however conservative values are still pervasive throughout many small-town court systems and even to some extent the metropolitan court systems and until the ban on same-sex marriage is overturned, it will continue to be exceedingly difficult for same sex couples to receive recognition of their marriages, divorces, or family law needs.
Since there are family law issues that can be settled in the Texas Family court systems, it is important to be represented by a family law attorney who is sensitive to the challenges same sex couples may face and has experience in the area. Contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC and schedule an appointment to discuss your case and ask questions relating to the legal process.