Dominoes falling – Same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional
The Statesman reported that Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman has ruled that the Texas same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.
Herman ruled as part of an estate fight in which Austin resident Sonemaly Phrasavath sought to have her eight-year relationship to Stella Powell deemed to have been a common-law marriage. Powell died last summer of colon cancer.
Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said she will be conferring with Herman and county lawyers to determine the impact of the ruling.
“I am scrambling, trying to find out if there is anything I can do. Right now, I think it’s no, but we are checking,” said DeBeauvoir, who in the past has said that she was ready to begin distributing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as soon as allowed by the courts.
The dominoes continue to fall. The case came about after Stella Powell died. She was in a same-sex relationship with Sonemaly Phrasavath. Powell’s will was not signed and notarized. Stella’s siblings challenged Phrasavath entitlement to Powell’s estate based on Texas’ same-sex marriage ban.
The ruling that the ban is unconstitutional more than likely will allow a ruling that they were in a common law relationship.