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SCOTUS finally tackles same sex marriage

We all know what went on at the Supreme Court yesterday, so I’m just going to link to some of the coverage:

Daily Kos 1
Daily Kos 2
The Slacktivist
Washington Post
SCOTUSBlog analysis
SCOTUSBlog liveblog

I think we all know what the stakes are, but let’s bring it back to Texas, where numerous anti-gay bills are in various stages of progress in the Legislature.


Even if any of the measures pass, their own legality is dubious, legal experts say. If the Supreme Court finds that gay marriage is a national right, state law could not trump that decision, said Texas A&M University law professor Meg Penrose.

“This legislation that is being proffered by Texas is actually completely irrelevant on the question of the national right to marriage,” Penrose said. “Right now, Texas has the right as an independent state to decide for itself whether same-sex marriages can be entered into in Texas or recognized. But if the United States Supreme Court says the U.S. constitution answers these very questions, then because we’re a constitutional democracy, Texas will lose its right to prohibit or continue to prohibit those relationships.”

The four cases pending before the Supreme Court are from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky. The court will address whether the states must allow same-sex marriages, and if they have to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state. If the court rules gay couples have a national right to marry, Penrose said, it “will have a revolutionary effect on Texas as a state.”

“If in this question the United States Supreme Court disagrees with Texas, Texas does not have the legal ability to avoid that ruling,” Penrose said. “The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.”


Daniel Williams, a legislative specialist for Equality Texas, said the bills could delay bringing gay marriage to Texas if the Supreme Court rules in favor of it.

“Where state officials are recalcitrant in their opposition to the freedom of marrying, it can create a chaotic transition,” Williams said. “That’s not necessary — but if [Attorney General] Ken Paxton wants to create chaos, he certainly has the power to do so.”

And you know he will. More to the point, anything short of a big win, where marriage is established as a right for all Americans, and you can be sure that Texas will put up as many obstacles to recognizing marriages performed elsewhere as it can. Kicking and screaming indeed. We will know in June where we are.

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  1. Bill Shirley says:

    it “will have a revolutionary effect on Texas as a state.”

    I would claim it will have almost no effect on Texas AS A STATE. It will have a revolutionary effect on a subset of people, and almost none on the others. (Hint: the others are those of us who already have these rights.)

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    The whole argument for gay marriage can be summed up succinctly:

    Two hetero people can marry, and then collect spousal Social Security payments based on that marriage. If two gays can’t do the same thing, then that is not being treated equally by government, and that isn’t fair.

    When the SCOTUS upholds gay marriage (as it should), I wonder if Abbot and Paxton will deploy DPS troopers to courthouses state wide in a nod to the Little Rock school desegregation standoff?