A Texas Republican lawmaker has
reportedly written to state Attorney General Ken Paxton arguing that
Texas' same-sex marriage ban remains in effect.
The U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell
v. Hodges found that gay and lesbian couples have a
constitutional right to marry. In a 5-4 ruling, the high court struck
down similar bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The
2015 ruling requires all states and the District of Columbia to issue
marriage licenses to gay couples and recognize the marriages of
couples validly married in other jurisdictions. The ruling
invalidates all state marriage bans.
Representative James White, a
Republican, argues in his letter to Paxton that Texas' ban remains in
place and should trump the Supreme Court's ruling.
The letter was widely shared on social
The subject line reads: “Whether
Obergefell v. Hodges … requires private citizens to
recognize homosexual marriages when the law of Texas continues to
define marriage exclusively as the union of one man and one woman.”
“The State of Texas has not amended
its marriage laws in response to Obergefell v. Hodges, 576
U.S. 644 (2015),” White, the chair of the Texas House's Homeland
Security & Public Safety Committee, wrote. “And the Supreme
Court has no power to amend formally or revoke a state statute or
constitutional provision – even after opining that the state law
violates the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution.”
State Representative Julie Johnson, a
Democrat who is married to a woman, responded to White's claims on
Twitter: “Now, my #TXlege Republican colleagues don't think the
love my wife and I have is good enough to make a lifetime commitment
to each other. Enough is enough! Cut the BS theatrics. You are
The letter was dated October 19.