On Valentines Day Friday, two lesbian couples may have become the first legal same-sex couples in the state of Texas. Even though same-sex marriage is illegal in Texas, they took advantage of a loophole that allows transgendered Texans to legally marry.
The couples each had one transgendered partner. As Dallas gay website DallasVoice.com reports:
Genevieve Jonte and Ashley Boucher said they contacted every justice of the peace in Dallas County, but none would perform their wedding. Then they contacted other judges. Ginsberg was the only judge who responded affirmatively.
Dani Pellett and JJ Larson decided to join them.
Ginsberg asked which couple was going first after the 100 guests filed into the courtroom.
“Dibs,” Pellett said.
The couple’s mothers signed the marriage license and kissed the brides.
Jonte and Boucher’s two children, ages 3 and 5, dressed in top hats for the occasion and held flowers as their moms got married.
The courtroom erupted in a standing ovation after Ginsberg announced, “You are now a happily, lawfully wedded couple,” after each of the ceremonies.
The legal validity of the marriage is likely to gain additional weight from last week’s Texas court decision in the case of Nikki Araguz, a transsexual who marriage was found to be valid by Texas Supreme Chief Justice Rogelio Valdez in the13th District Court of Appeals in Corpus Christ.
Araguz is a same-sex marriage activist in Texas who has written for The Huffington Post. Her husband Thomas Araguz was a fireman who died in the line of duty and Araguz was denied death benefits. Araguz sued. Her attorney says of the appeals victory:
“What the decision today says is Texas law now recognizes that an individual who has had a sex change is eligible to marry a person of the opposite sex,” he said. “I think it’s a significant victory for trans people in Texas.”
On Twitter, new bride Boucher reached out to musician Amanda Palmer, hoping for some positive press to balance out ‘haters.’
— Ashely Boucher (@AshelyBoucher) February 17, 2014