AUSTIN - Two Austin women were legally married in Travis County on Thursday making them the first gay couple to be married in Texas. Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant have been together almost 31 years and were denied a marriage license eight years ago.
"The freedom to marry I think, is an ultimate exercise of personal freedom," said Goodfriend. "When a loving, committed couple like Suzanne and I and all the other couples, when they're marriage is recognized it only makes Texas stronger"
The couple's lawyer petitioned state district judge David Wahlberg.
The couple said not being able to get a marriage license was causing them irreparable harm, mainly because Goodfriend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
So the judge ordered the Travis County Clerk, Dana Debeauvoir, to grant them the license. All of this comes just two days after a Texas judge ruled that the state's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional.
The couple's marriage license was granted under a one-time court order for medical reasons. Late Thursday afternoon, the Texas Supreme Court blocked gay couples from obtaining marriage licenses and granted the requests of the Texas Attorney General to stay two court rulings that declared Texas marriage law unconstitutional.
Attorney General Ken Paxton issued the following statement:
“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.”