Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today (Wednesday, Feb. 18) that his office has intervened in the Travis County probate case following Judge Guy Herman’s ruling that Texas’ ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional.
Paxton, representing the state, has asked the Texas Supreme Court to stay Herman’s ruling and to overturn it.
In a written statement issued by his office, Paxton said: “Texas law is clear on the definition of marriage, and I will fight to protect this sacred institution and uphold the will of Texans, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment defining the union as between one man and one woman. The probate judge’s misguided ruling does not change Texas law or allow the issuance of a marriage license to anyone other than one man and one woman.”
Paxton — referred to, by the way, as “General Paxton” in the statement released by his office — failed to note that Herman is the second judge in Texas to declare the marriage ban unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia did so a year ago, in Feburary 2014. That case is currently before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Paxton’s statement was issued about an hour and a half after Equality Texas issued a statement calling on Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples — something DeBeauvoir has said she will not do until she gets clarification from the federal courts.
But because Herman is a probate judge, his ruling will be appealed through the Texas state courts, not through the federal court system, as Garcia’s ruling.