Op-Ed: Texas Attorney General Stands Up for Texas Marriage Law

Ken Paxton
AP Photo/Eric Gay

This article was authored by and submitted to Breitbart Texas by Cathie Adams.

The importance of having strong, competent leaders fighting for Texas is never more apparent than when the will of Texans and the rule of law are under assault. That was clearly evident last week when a judge in Travis County declared our state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, despite the will of more than three-quarters of Texans who voted for the amendment. Two days later, another judge in Travis County in a separate case directed the Travis County Clerk to issue a marriage license to a Democrat-Party-connected same-sex couple.

While the media had their predictably hysterical frenzy of headlines, and the Democrats had a premature wedding party, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton calmly and quickly stepped in and did what he was supposed to do: uphold the law and defend traditional marriage. While the media frenzy plays out on these proceedings, I thought it would be helpful to break down the events as they occurred.

On Feb. 17, during a proceeding in a Travis County probate court, the judge declared our definition of marriage unconstitutional. Within hours of that ruling, General Paxton appropriately intervened and made multiple filings with the Texas Supreme Court to fight back against this brazen act of clear judicial overreach.

Two days later, Travis County Judge David Wahlberg of the 167th Criminal District Court also declared Texas’ marriage law unconstitutional and immediately ordered the Travis County Clerk to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. The couple immediately – almost as if they had planned the whole thing – exchanged nuptials in front of reporters and news cameras, and then followed that up with a press conference, as most newlyweds do. It’s worth noting that the law requires a judge to notify the Attorney General before ruling a Texas law unconstitutional, and that didn’t happen here.

Again, General Paxton immediately and properly intervened, filing an emergency stay motion with the Texas Supreme Court regarding this new ruling, and filing suit in Travis County to enjoin the Travis County clerk from issuing any more (albeit invalid) same-sex marriage licenses. That afternoon the Supreme Court granted stays in the case and the one before them from two days earlier.

Texas’ definition of marriage renders any same-sex marriage void, and our law remains in effect. On Friday, Feb. 20, General Paxton filed a separate petition in the Supreme Court allowing them the opportunity to confirm to any doubters that the same-sex marriage license is, and has been, void.

Even earlier, though, General Paxton’s office was hard at work defending our common-sense definition of marriage, with three cases pending before the Texas Supreme Court involving our law’s constitutionality. During just his first week in office, in fact, Gen. Paxton’s administration was defending the Texas definition of marriage in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and last week filed an opposition to a motion to lift the federal district court’s stay of its ruling in that proceeding.

Opponents of Texas law will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Luckily, those who still believe in traditional values have the rule of law on our side.

Cathie Adams serves as the President of Texas Eagle Forum, the International Issues Chairman for Eagle Forum, and on the board of the national Eagle Forum. She was elected Republican National Committeewoman for Texas in 2008 and stepped down after being elected Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas from 2009-2010. She was named by Campaigns and Elections magazines August 2010 issue as one of the top 50 Republican influencers in Texas. Cathie has travel extensively around the world as an observer of major UN conferences, including those in China, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Argentina, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Mexico, South Africa, Qatar, Poland and Peru.


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