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Texas’ First Same-Sex Marriage

Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant were married Thursday morning in Austin.

Updated at 4:50 p.m.

 

Despite Texas’ statewide ban on gay marriage, county officials in Austin have married a same-sex couple under a one-time court order issued for medical reasons.

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said she received a court order commanding her to cease and desist relying on the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and issue a marriage license to Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant.

“I am happily following the court order. But the court order only applies to this one couple and it is based on the idea that there are circumstances with this couple,” DeBeauvoir said. “One of them is medically fragile and that they may not survive the wait on what the courts are going to rule in the future as a final decision about gay marriage”

Goodfriend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year.

The women were married Thursday morning in Austin in a ceremony presided over by a rabbi.

“The context is clear. Marriage will come to Texas for all people at some point in the near future,” said Brian Riedel, with the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality at Rice University.

Meanwhile, the Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency order to block other gay couples from obtaining marriage licenses.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued the following statement via email:

The Court’s action upholds our state constitution and stays these rulings by activist judges in Travis County. The same-sex marriage license issued by the Travis County Clerk is void, just as any license issued in violation of state law would be. I will continue to defend the will of the people of Texas, who have defined marriage as between one man and one woman, against any judicial activism or overreach.”

 

The Below Storify, created by Texas Standard, shows how the story played out on Twitter Thursday morning:

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