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Where does same-sex marriage stand in Texas?

Since the striking down of DOMA, those in favor of same-sex marriage have made incredible strides toward marriage equality. It seems like every week a new state is throwing out its ban on gay marriage and opening the way for more and more couples to tie the knot legally.

However, many states have yet to legalize it, which makes for a chaotic and confusing time for same-sex couples. Texas is one of those states and, as such, the gay population there has taken to making pilgrimages to New York and California to wed. In fact, Houston’s mayor recently did so, marrying the woman she’s been with for 23 years in Palm Springs.

When these Texans come back to the Lone Star State, however, they are not legally married in the eyes of the state. This complicates matters on all sorts of levels. One such level is the changing of names. Usually, when a couple gets married, one takes the name of the other and, with relative ease, all documents and identifications reflect that change. Since Texas doesn’t recognize gay marriage, same-sex couples can sometimes have a more difficult time taking on one another’s names.

The list of red tape and confusion for gay couples who marry out of state and live in Texas is endless.

So, if it’s this difficult to get and stay married, imagine the legal rat’s nest that is same-sex divorce. With the laws in such conflict — and the federal government giving a “yes” while the state says “no” — same-sex couples may want to sit down with an attorney and discuss their options.

Source: blogs.houstonpress.com, “Married, Sort Of: The Legal Limbo of Being Gay and Married in Texas,” Jef Rouner, July 16, 2014

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