[JURIST] A Texas county judge ruled [order, JPG] Tuesday that the state’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The ruling came in the case of an Austin woman who is seeking recognition of her marriage after the death of her same-sex spouse so that she can be entitled to the estate. Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman found that the Texas Family Code [text] and article I of the Texas Constitution [text, PDF] both violate the due process and equal protection [Cornell LII backgrounders] clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Herman ruled the state must recognize the plaintiff’s marriage.
Same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] continues to be one of the most polarizing legal topics in the US today. Last week Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the US Supreme Court refused to extend a two-week stay [JURIST report] on the federal judge’s ruling that held same-sex marriage was unconstitutional in the state. Last month a judge for the US District Court the Southern District of Alabama struck down [JURIST report] the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act [text], ruling them unconstitutional. Also last month the Supreme Court agreed to rule [JURIST report] on same-sex marriage, granting certiorari [order list, PDF] in four cases.