One Texas gay marriage, with ovarian cancer

Austin Statesman - Travis County clerk issues first legal gay marriage license in Texas

Two Austin women were married Thursday morning on a state judge's orders, igniting celebrations from supporters and condemnation from the state's Republican leaders, including Attorney General Ken Paxton, who vowed to void the marriage.

Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, together almost 31 years, said their vows before Rabbi Kerry Baker while standing in front of the Travis County clerk's office sign as Airport Boulevard traffic rumbled by.

They became the first legally married gay couple in Texas to cries of "Mazel tov!" Bryant then grabbed Goodfriend by the arm and said: "Let's get back in (to register the marriage) before they make it illegal!"

Whether they remained married by day's end became the subject of debate when the Texas Supreme Court stepped in at Paxton's request, issuing an ambiguous afternoon order that blocked the ruling by state District Judge David Wahlberg, who had ordered that Goodfriend and Bryant be issued a marriage license, citing Goodfriend's poor health.


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Wahlberg, personally petitioned by Herring, had ordered DeBeauvoir to grant the couple a marriage license, saying the state law against same-sex marriage was causing them irreparable harm, particularly because Goodfriend had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

The judge also waived the 72-hour waiting period to perform a wedding.

Wahlberg's order arrived at the county clerk's office at 9:25 a.m. Bryant and Goodfriend immediately filled out the paperwork and quickly walked outside to take their vows, fearing the state would attempt to step in and enforce the law and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

It was a far different outcome than eight years earlier, when Goodfriend and Bryant entered the same office but were denied a marriage license.

The rushed ceremony was a mix of personal — with friends and their teenage daughters, Dawn and Ting Goodfriend, standing nearby — and public statement, with wedding photos sure to include the county sign.

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