Saturday, August 24, 2013

 
TEXAS ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION HEADED TO SUPREME COURT - OR NOT

"Sec. 32. MARRIAGE. (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."
 
The Texas Supreme Court has ordered further briefing of the issue in light of the two wins for gay marriage before the US Supreme Court.  The issue is - can a Texas court grant a divorce to a gay  couple legally married in another state?  The trial court said yes, and the court of appeals said no.
 
This is what will happen.  Based on the plain language of the Amendment the Texas Supreme Court will rule that all the Amendment does is define marriage in Texas, but does not address divorce.  They will do this to avoid the issue of the constitutionality of the Amendment.  The trial  court found the Amendment to violate the US Constitution.
 
By saying it only addresses whether you can marry in Texas, and not whether you can divorce in Texas, they avoid the constitutionality of the Amendment, while allowing the couple to divorce.
 
If they are dumb enough to say the Texas Amendment applies to divorce also, the US Supreme Court will take the case, and within 2 years gays will be getting married in Texas.
 
At this time the Department of Defense is granting 12 days leave to gay couples stationed in Texas to travel to Washington DC to get married.  Upon their return, they are being provided full benefits as a married military couple - housing, health care, commissary privileges etc.
 
I think the next area to be applied to Texas will be its benefits to veterans. The Hazewood Act is the perfect case to humiliate Texas on the issue because Texas is in effect discriminating against active military personnel and veterans.  Under Hazelwood if the spouse of child meet the basic requirements they are entitled to 150 credits hours of free education at any state institution of higher education.  A gay spouse needs to apply for the benefit, be denied, and then sue in federal court.

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