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texan
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Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:15 pm

A local judge in Dallas County has ruled that a gay couple may get a divorce in Texas and that Texas' ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has vowed to appeal the ruling. This case brings up several issues. First, the judge denied the AG's intervention on behalf of one of the men. If the judge did this through the correct process of law, then the AG is not a party to the case and typically could not appeal the decision. That is the first issue that must be addressed.

Second, it will bring attention to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution and whether or not there are limitations on it, at least if this goes to the SCOTUS. This almost certainly must be the second consideration in the debate.

Definitely worth keeping an eye on. And my kudos to the judge for making a tough decision and ruling on the case in a manner I believe to be consistent with the U.S. Constitution, which still trumps the Texas Constitution, much to the chagrin of some Texans. I do reserve the right to change my opinion on the way the judge ruled if, after reading the opinion (if I can find it), I think she based her decision on poor grounds. At initial glance, though, I do agree with her.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...109dnmetgaymarriage.1d5a0d50d.html

Texan
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rfields5421
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:40 pm

I was looking at this last night.

Now I can see where the Full Faith and Credit Clause would come to play on the divorce. I cannot see how it applies to Texas laws about not allowing marriage by gays.

The State of Texas acknowledges legal marriages between people of the same sex performed in other states. There was a case involving probate a couple years ago, where the gay spouse was confirmed to have the rights of a widow/widower to the estate. The deceased persons family sued to freeze the spouse out of the estate, and lost.

The State of Texas and companies doing business in Texas have had to extend healthcare coverage and other benefits to gay spouses when a legal marriage certificate is produced.

That does not mean Texas recognizes gay marriage, only that other states are within their rights to do so.
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texan
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:48 pm



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 1):

That does not mean Texas recognizes gay marriage, only that other states are within their rights to do so.

True. But if that means that Judge Callahan need not have reached the conclusion she did, one wonders how the appellate court will rule on her finding the ban unconstitutional . . .

Texan
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DocLightning
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:44 pm



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 1):

That does not mean Texas recognizes gay marriage, only that other states are within their rights to do so.

I believe, from your description that Texas *does* recognize gay marriage, but does not perform them.

Amazing that Texas, of all states, should beat California to this.
-Doc Lightning-

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texan
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:16 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
I believe, from your description that Texas *does* recognize gay marriage, but does not perform them.

This judge recognizes them and has ruled the Texas constitutional amendment unconstitutional. The state government is arguing that Texas does not recognize gay marriage/divorce and cannot be told to do so.

Texan
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Tugger
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:30 pm



Quoting Texan (Reply 4):
The state government is arguing that Texas does not recognize gay marriage/divorce and cannot be told to do so.

But how does that view square with this one (assuming RFields5421 is correct):

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 1):
The State of Texas acknowledges legal marriages between people of the same sex performed in other states. There was a case involving probate a couple years ago, where the gay spouse was confirmed to have the rights of a widow/widower to the estate. The deceased persons family sued to freeze the spouse out of the estate, and lost.

The State of Texas and companies doing business in Texas have had to extend healthcare coverage and other benefits to gay spouses when a legal marriage certificate is produced.

If you recognize the marital rights in one way, how would it be possible to not recognize it in whole? If the above is correct it sure does seem that Texas DOES recognize same-sex marriage (and this is only looking at the legal application and rights that come from what is shown to be a "marriage". This indicates nothing about the religious aspects).

Just curious.
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texan
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:13 am

From what I understand, and from the statements of the governor and attorney general in the article, Texas does not recognize gay marriages or divorces from other states and will fight tooth and nail to avoid recognizing them. AG Abbott sounds like he is willing to take this all the way to avoid having Texas recognize any legal recognition of gay marriages. The State of Texas attempted to intervene in this case, arguing that the couple could not get divorced in Texas since Texas did not recognize their marriage. The judge denied the state's intervention.

Texan
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jcs17
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:21 am

What a publicity whore. Let's not pretend that this remotely constitutional.

This judge went from a nobody to a somebody in one AP story. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually a lot of very, very liberal judges in Texas, and none of them have concluded that gay marriage even worth challenging through a gay divorce case.

Personally, I don't really care that much about gay marriage either way, but I believe that the law as enacted by citizens and the legislature should be respected -- and not trampled on by some loser judge trying to make a name for himself.
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Elite
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:24 am



Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 7):
I believe that the law as enacted by citizens and the legislature should be respected

I agree. The judge should respect that, and not try to overstep his boundaries. I'm interested to see what happens to this case, and ultimately to the judge.
 
MarSciGuy
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:33 pm



Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 7):
Personally, I don't really care that much about gay marriage either way, but I believe that the law as enacted by citizens and the legislature should be respected -- and not trampled on by some loser judge trying to make a name for himself.



Quoting Elite (Reply 8):
Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 7):
I believe that the law as enacted by citizens and the legislature should be respected

I agree. The judge should respect that, and not try to overstep his boundaries. I'm interested to see what happens to this case, and ultimately to the judge.

No one has claimed that this judge is trumpeting a case with no grounds, besides, the judicial system and the separation and balancing of powers across all THREE branches of the government are a very important part of this nations governance, are they not?

I would think that a judge would not perform an action, especially one that has the potential for large amounts of publicity, that could be easily dismissed by a higher court thereby calling that judges' future actions into immediate doubt...

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DocLightning
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:01 pm



Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 7):

Personally, I don't really care that much about gay marriage either way, but I believe that the law as enacted by citizens and the legislature should be respected -- and not trampled on by some loser judge trying to make a name for himself.

Well, the thing is that he's not trampling. His job is to actually clarify what the law says.

United States law and law in all states except California (as far as I know) states that gay marriage is legal. Now, there are some lower laws that break higher laws, like laws that violate constitutional guarantees of full faith and credit and/or equal protection. In that case, the role of the judge is to decide which law is the most important (Constitution always wins) and to clarify that.

But unless it's specifically banned in a state constitution, gay marriage is actually legal. However, what happened all over is that when gay couples started going for marriage licenses, city officials said "wait, marriage is between a man and a woman!" even though the law didn't say that.

This led to a series of rather ill-conceived laws banning gay marriage that contradict Constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law. So judges, faced with this question, tend to side with the Constitution.

So they are NOT legislating from the bench.
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MarSciGuy
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:01 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 10):


Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 7):

Personally, I don't really care that much about gay marriage either way, but I believe that the law as enacted by citizens and the legislature should be respected -- and not trampled on by some loser judge trying to make a name for himself.

Well, the thing is that he's not trampling. His job is to actually clarify what the law says.

United States law and law in all states except California (as far as I know) states that gay marriage is legal. Now, there are some lower laws that break higher laws, like laws that violate constitutional guarantees of full faith and credit and/or equal protection. In that case, the role of the judge is to decide which law is the most important (Constitution always wins) and to clarify that.

But unless it's specifically banned in a state constitution, gay marriage is actually legal. However, what happened all over is that when gay couples started going for marriage licenses, city officials said "wait, marriage is between a man and a woman!" even though the law didn't say that.

This led to a series of rather ill-conceived laws banning gay marriage that contradict Constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law. So judges, faced with this question, tend to side with the Constitution.

So they are NOT legislating from the bench.

Always nice to be backed up by someone who knows more about the issues then I do, thanks Doc  Smile!
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N104UA
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:16 pm

Wow if Texas says that Gay Marriage Ban's are unconstitutional then the rest of the states should fall like a house of cards, thank god
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rfields5421
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:34 pm



Quoting Texan (Reply 6):
Texas does not recognize gay marriages or divorces from other states and will fight tooth and nail to avoid recognizing them.

The problem is the constitutional guarantees of full faith and credit.

What does that mean to most people?

That the state of Michigan recognizes that the state of Texas has the right to give me and my spouse a marriage license. That they recognize my divorce in Arkansas. That they recognize my driver's license from Texas as valid when I visit that state. Literally dozens of things which our home state makes legal for each of us, full faith and credit guarantees in the Constitution require the other states to recognize.

The other states are specifically prohibited from saying "Your __________ in Texas is not legal here because it does not comply with California laws."

Fill in the blank -> marriage, driver's license, divorce, etc.

When was the last time this was an issue before gay marriage came up?

Back when I was young, many southern states tried to say marriages between whites and blacks performed in those liberal northern states were not legal. Texas was one of those states for part of the 20th century.
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texan
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:00 am



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 13):

Preaching to the choir! It'll be interesting to see how the state appellate courts rule, though, knowing that our judges are all elected. We shall see.

Texan
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DocLightning
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RE: Dallas Judge Rules Against TX Gay Marriage Ban

Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:09 am



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 13):

Fill in the blank -> marriage, driver's license, divorce, etc.

Actually, my criminal record has one blemish. Driving without a license. I had my Michigan license in California because I wasn't eligible for a CA license at the time (was a student).

That's a misdemeanor if you are in the state more than 10 (or maybe 14) days without switching your license over. I plead guilty and was fined $10.
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