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First Same-Sex Marriage Performed in Texas Under Special Order

A court order applies only to the couple because of health concerns.
Image: Travis County Clerk issues marriage license to same sex couple
The Travis County clerk issues Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant a marriage license.Travis County Clerk

Two women were married in Texas on Thursday under a one-time court order — the first same-sex marriage in that state. Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant exchanged vows in Austin. The county clerk said that the right to marry applied only to the couple, and was ordered by a state judge, because one of the women has “severe and immediate health concerns.”

A federal judge declared Texas’ ban on gay marriage unconstitutional last year but put the ruling on hold during appeal. The Supreme Court is expected to definitively answer later this year whether gay couples nationwide have the right to marry. “We are all waiting for a final decision on marriage equality,” Ginny Ballard, a spokeswoman for the county clerk, said in a statement.

Goodfriend and Bryant, together almost 31 years, were married by a rabbi after receiving their license. Their teenage daughters looked on. “It’s very exciting,” Bryant told the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. “My little one was worried about missing her history class. I said we’ll be making history.”


— Erin McClam