Texas Attorney General attempts to void ‘medically fragile’ gay couple’s marriage
The Attorney General of the US state of Texas has attempted to declare void the marriage of a gay couple granted a licence on medical grounds.
The couple, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, who married in Austin, were described as “medically fragile” because the former has ovarian cancer. A rabbi preceded over the ceremony, after the marriage licence was issued.
They were only allowed to marry after a state district court ordered that officials should not rely on the unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage in the state, and are the only same-sex couple to have legally married in the state so far.
“The rogue actions of Travis County judges do not withstand the scrutiny of law,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement Friday.
“The same-sex marriage license issued is not valid because it conflicts with the Texas Constitution and state law — the license is therefore void ab initio.”
The couple’s attorney, Chuck Herring, argued that the marriage was not void, saying: “The case is over. The marriage is over and done. Our clients are married and very happy.”
Attorney General Ken Paxton moved quickly after the couple married, appealing the Texas Supreme Court, which quickly blocked other couples from marrying in the state by issuing a stay.
“Activist judges don’t change Texas law and we will continue to aggressively defend the laws of our state,” Paxton said in a statement last week.
The state of Texas’ same-sex marriage ban was found unconstitutional last year, but the judge issuing the ruling stayed it, in order to facilitate a state appeal.