UPDATE: Paxton makes huge concession to avoid contempt of court

Posted on 10 Aug 2015 at 4:01pm
Ken Paxton

Attorney General Ken Paxton

To avoid facing a contempt of court hearing and possible jail time for ignoring a court ruling that declared the Texas marriage amendment unconstitutional, Attorney General Ken Paxton will issue new guidelines to state employees.

Those guidelines include recognizing married same-sex couples for purposes of death certificates but also for purposes of birth certificates. Refusing to recognize a same-sex couple for purposes of a death certificate led to the contempt charges.

The birth certificate issue has been a problem for same-sex couples for years. Judges in only a few counties including Dallas will allow second parent adoptions, but the second parent’s name doesn’t go on the birth certificate. If an opposite-sex couple is married, the husband is presumed to be the father and his name goes on the birth certificate.

Now the names of a couple that adopts together will both go on the birth certificate, just as it does for opposite-sex couples. For gay couples who have children through a surrogate, both names of the married couple will go on the birth certificate. And for lesbian couples who have a baby and one of the women carry the child, both names of a married couple will go on the birth certificate.

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