Republican Texas Attorney General Ken
Paxton on Friday asked the state Supreme Court to void the marriage
license of a lesbian couple.
Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant
exchanged vows outside the Travis County Clerk's Office on Thursday,
a day after Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman struck down Texas'
ban on gay marriage as part of an estate fight.
Goodfriend and Bryant, together more
than 30 years, asked a separate judge to force Travis County Clerk
Dana DeBeauvoir to issue them a marriage license and wave the
customary 72-hour waiting period. The couple cited Goodfriend's
diagnosis and treatment for ovarian cancer in arguing that the
state's continued refusal to issue them a marriage license was
causing them irreparable harm.
couple marries in Texas after gay marriage ban stuck down.)
Within hours of the nuptials, the
justices stayed the two rulings at Paxton's request.
In asking the state's highest court to
nullify the license, Paxton argued that allowing the marriage to
stand would lead to “chaos.”
“As a result of the trial court's
ruling, at least one same-sex couple has been issued an invalid
marriage license, but there may have been more,” Paxton
told the court. “Moreover, the state of the law in Texas has
been needlessly cast into doubt.”
“Relief from this Court is necessary
to avoid the legal chaos that would follow if the trial court's
ruling is mistakenly interpreted as authorization for the creation or
recognition of same-sex marriages in Travis County or throughout the
In a statement, Paxton added that the
license “is not valid because it conflicts with the Texas
Constitution and State law – the license is therefore void ab
Brian Thompson, an attorney
representing the couple, said that the marriage remains valid.
“If he's in the business of suing
loving couples who've been together 30 years, one of whom has cancer,
then I think it's a sad day for Texas,” Thompson said.