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Even after Supreme Court ruling, same-sex couples may still face difficulties in Texas

In a post a couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that the same-sex marriage ban in Texas posed challenges to same-sex couples in the state. As our readers have likely heard, last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court made a big ruling regarding state bans on same-sex marriage. 

In this ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country, thus ruling that state bans on same-sex marriage are invalid. Given this ruling, it seems likely that we, for the first time, will soon be seeing many legally-recognized same-sex marriages here in Texas. 

However, this ruling may not completely spell an end to same-sex couples facing challenges in the state when it comes to marriage and other family law matters. This can be seen in an opinion Texas' attorney general issued a couple of days after the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

In the opinion, the attorney general voiced the opinion that religious protections in the country make it so that individual county clerks who object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds cannot be forced to personally issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and that individual justices of the peace and judges who object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds cannot be forced to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples as long as other workable options for receiving such licenses/cermonies are available to such couples. The attorney general did, however, say that fines and lawsuits may go along with refusals by clerks to issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Do you think that, in the wake of this opinion, there will be many clerks here in Texas who will refuse to personally grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples? If such refusals end up being fairly widespread, how big of an effect do you think it will have on the ability of Texas same-sex couples to get a marriage license in a non-burdensome way? What sorts of challenges do you think same-sex couples in Texas are most likely to face as the state's legal system adjusts to the ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage?

Attorneys can provide same-sex couples in Texas with help with family law legal challenges they end up encountering.

Source: WOAI, "Texas AG: Officials Can Ignore SCOTUS Same Sex Marriage Ruling," June 29, 2015

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