In November 2013, the Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments in case that challenged whether a Texas court could grant a divorce to a same-sex couple, even though Texas’s Constitution did not permit the recognition of such a union. I blogged about that case here and here. That case, still awaiting decision, implicates another pending case in federal court in Houston about Mayor Parker’s decision to award benefits to same-sex couples, notwithstanding the Texas’s Constitution ban on that recognition (see here and here).
Today, a District Court in San Antonio ruled that Texas’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, but stayed his ruling.
So, how does this ruling affect both the Texas Supreme Court case, and the Houston case. The Houston case, would almost certainly find persuasive the ruling from San Antonio, in finding that the Texas ban on SSM is unconstitutional. But, is the Texas Supreme Court so bound? Wouldn’t that create an odd split if a federal district court rule one way, and the state court ruled another. I suspect the Justices in Austin may have been aware of this ruling. Stay tuned.