Seldom does a single news event have the potential to change the trajectory of society, politics, and an entire nation.
As of 9:02 a.m. on Friday, June 26, 2015, states can no longer deny the institution of marriage to members of the same gender. Same-sex marriage is legal across the U.S., as a matter of federal law.
There are people in Texas who will remember this moment as the most joyous of their lives – the day everything changed. Others see today’s ruling as the end of the America they know and love. History tells us that divide is especially deep in Texas, and change this profound is not easily swallowed by many.
Governor Greg Abbott released a statement this morning stating that county clerks should wait to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Despite the Governor’s warning and similar statements from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton andLieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, court clerks in more liberal counties like Travis have already issued dozens of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Texas Standard’s David Brown discusses the controversial supreme court decision with Lauren McGaughy, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle.
On how different counties in Texas are responding:
“There’s going to be a really uneven reaction to this across Texas. We are hearing… from Travis County that they are already issuing licenses, but there are a number of other clerks who say they will wait to get deeper guidance from the state. Some people are going to get marriage licenses today and some are going to have to wait a while, but we’re not really quite sure how long that might be.”
On whether or not the SCOTUS decision will be contested by Texas officials:
“I think it will be, yes. The governor and Attorney General Ken Paxton have now started issuing these statements that are talking about ‘religious liberties’ and how to respond to this. I think they’re going to take much of the same path as they did with abortion rulings and they’re going to through the courts try to keep some kind of restrictions on gay couples or gay individuals”.
“We have to remember that in Texas, you can still fire someone for their sexual orientation. So this ruling only applies to marriage and there’s going to be a concerted effort by state and local officials to deny other rights to people, lesbian, gay, transgender people.”
Listen to the interview in the audio player above.