If a same-sex marriage happens outside of Texas, but no law in Texas was there to recognize it, did the marriage ever even happen?
Earlier this year, a state senator asked Attorney General Greg Abbott to weigh in on the question in light of all the same-sex couples employed by municipal governments in Texas who have been getting benefits. Abbott's response: "The domestic partnerships about which you inquire are entirely a creation of the relevant political subdivisions." In other words, no.
Now, the Texas military is grappling with the same question, and is waiting for another ruling from Abbott.
Three months ago, gay and lesbian troops seemed to get a break from the Pentagon, when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the National Guard to give federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples. Shortly after, Texas Major General John Nichols sent a letter to Abbott asking for some clarification about what to do, since people still can't get gay-married in Texas. "What actions, if any, can the TXMF [Texas Military Forces] take in order to fulfill the DoD policy of extending spousal and dependent benefits to same-sex spouses without violating the Texas Constitution and Texas state law?," Nichols wrote to Abbott, requesting a decision.
Abbott is still thinking about it, but Governor Rick Perry has made his feelings clear. In an email to Unfair Park, Perry's spokesman Josh Havens reasons that Texas military couples aren't entitled federal marriage benefits if they're not straight: "In 2005, the people of this state voted to define marriage in our state constitution as being a union between one man and one woman. Everyone in Texas, including state agencies like the Texas Military Forces, must live under to the laws of this state. "More »