Pending Marriage Equality Cases

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Texas

Updated March 6, 2015
  • Goodfriend v. DeBeauvoir*

    Case Type: Seeking only the freedom to marry for unmarried same-sex couples, (includes federal claims)
    Counsel: Herring & Irwin, L.L.P.
    State Court Level: Supreme
    Status: Challenge to governor’s Executive Order permitting same-sex couples married in other states can file state taxes jointly, filed on 1/9/14.  An amended motion/petition was filed on 2/7/14.  A motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction was filed on 3/26/14.  A hearing was held on 4/3/14, and the motion for a temporary restraining order was denied on 4/4/14.  The state LGBT equality group PROMO filed a motion to intervene, which was heard on 6/4/14, and on 6/9/14 the court denied intervention but left open the possibility of filing an amicus brief.  A further hearing was conducted on 8/20/14.  A conference call is scheduled for 7/10/15.  
  • Estate of Powell*

    Case Type: Seeking only recognition of marriages entered by same-sex couples in other jurisdictions
    Counsel: Hopper Mikeska
    State Court Level: Supreme
    Status: In a case where the surviving partner is seeking her common law marriage to be recognized for estate purposes, a 2/17/15 ruling from the Travis County Probate Court held, “Texas Family Code and Article I, 32 of the Texas Constitution are unconstitutional insofar as they restrict marriage in the State of Texas to a union of a man and woman and prohibit the creation or recognition of marriage to same-sex couples, because such restrictions and prohibitions violate the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Unites States Constitution.”  On 2/20/15 the Texas Attorney General filed a petition for writ of mandamus stating that the ruling was an abuse of discretion because of its unnecessary overbreadth and its failure to defer to the Texas Supreme Court’s resolution of serious constitutional issues that are currently under its review. In response, the Texas Supreme Court stayed the ruling.  On 5/13/15, the responses to the petition for writ of mandamus was filed.  On 5/29/15, the reply was filed.  
  • DeLeon v. Perry*

    Case Type: Seeking freedom to marry for unmarried same-sex couples and recognition of marriages entered by same-sex couples in other jurisdictions
    Counsel: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
    Federal Circuit: 5th
    Status: The court granted plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying or recognition of their out-of-state marriages on 2/26/14, but stayed the injunction pending appeal.  The state appealed.  On 3/7/14, the district court case also was stayed pending appeal.  On 4/14/14, the plaintiffs filed an opposed motion to expedite the appeal, which was denied on 5/21/14.  Appellant’s opening brief was filed on 7/28/14.  Appellees’ brief was filed on 9/9/14, and appellant’s reply brief was filed on 10/13/14.  On 10/6/14, appellees filed an opposed motion to expedite oral argument.  On 10/7/14, that motion was granted.  On 10/10/14, appellants filed their reply brief.  Argument was heard on 1/9/2015, along with the Robicheaux (Louisiana) and Campaign for Southern Equality (Mississippi) appeals. On 2/12/15, appellees filed a motion to lift the stay; on 2/19/15 appellants responded; and on 2/20/15 appellees filed a reply.
  • In the Matter of the Marriage of A.L.F.L. and K.L.L.*

    Case Type: Same-sex couple is seeking a divorce, (includes federal claims)
    Counsel: Judith K. Wemmert Law Offices
    State Court Level: Appeal
    Status: Dissolution case filed 2/18/14 by a lesbian couple in Bexar County, Texas who had married in Washington and are having a custody dispute.  On 4/22/14, the trial court ruled that Texas’s bar on marriage for same-sex is unconstitutional, as would be its refusal to recognize the parental presumption of custody for married same-sex couples.  On 4/24/14, the state intermediate court granted an emergency motion by the state Attorney General to stay that ruling while it considers his motion to vacate the ruling.  On 5/28/14, the state Attorney General’s petition for writ of mandamus was conditionally granted, vacating the trial court’s opinion on the ground that notice of the constitutional challenge was not given to the Texas AG as required by statute.  On 6/16/14, the trial court judge vacated her order.  The appeal of that order was pending in the 4th court of appeals; however, on 6/13/14, a motion for involuntary dismissal was filed by the appellees.  On 7/23/14, an amended notice of appeal was filed.  On 8/11/14, appellants filed a motion for emergency relief, and appellees filed a response.  That motion was granted on 8/13/14.  On 8/18/14, appellees filed a motion for reconsideration; appellants responded on 8/20/14.  On 9/9/14, appellees filed a reply in support of their motion for reconsideration.  On 9/12/14, the motion was denied.  On 12/15/14, appellees filed a motion for clarification of the 8/13/14 stay order. The state responded on 12/19/14.  On 1/28/15, the court denied the motion for clarification.
  • Zahrn v. Perry*

    Case Type: Seeking freedom to marry for unmarried same-sex couples and recognition of marriages entered by same-sex couples in other jurisdictions
    Counsel: Bell Nunnally & Martin, LLP; James J. Scheske PLLC; Jorgeson Pittman LLP
    Federal Circuit: 5th
    Status: Filed 10/31/13 as a putative class action.  Defendants answered 11/21/13.  The case was then ordered consolidated with McNosky v. Perry, below.  A motion for class certification was filed 2/28/14.  On 3/12/14, the state filed an opposed motion to stay pending the 5th Circuit’s decision in DeLeon v. Perry.  The motion to certify a class was dismissed and the case was ordered stayed on 9/10/14.
  • McNosky v. Perry*

    Case Type: Seeking only the freedom to marry for unmarried same-sex couples
    Counsel: In Pro Per
    Federal Circuit: 5th
    Status: Filed 10/9/13 by two men, raising only a sex discrimination claim.  A motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order was  11/14/13.  The state defendants’  opposition was due 12/27/13.  The case was then ordered consolidated with Zahrn v. Perry, above.  On 3/12/14, the state filed what it captioned an unopposed motion to stay pending the 5th Circuit’s decision in DeLeon v. Perry but, on 3/22/14, plaintiffs filed an opposition to the stay.  The case was ordered stayed on 9/10/14.
  • Freeman v. Parker*

    Case Type: Seeking only recognition of marriages entered by same-sex couples in other jurisdictions
    Counsel: Lambda Legal
    Federal Circuit: 5th
    Status: Filed 12/26/13, to maintain recognition of out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples for purposes of Houston city employee spousal benefits, in response to Pidgeon v. Parker, listed in state cases below. On 8/29/14, plaintiffs filed an unopposed motion for a preliminary injunction to keep the benefits in place pending resolution of the case, which the court granted. The court also stayed the proceedings pending resolution of the constitutionality of the Texas marriage ban in DeLeon v. Perry.
  • Pidgeon v. Parker

    Case Type: Seeking only recognition of marriages entered by same-sex couples in other jurisdictions
    Counsel: Woodfell Law Firm, P.C.; Texas Values; The Olson Firm, PLLC (all representing taxpayers challenging recognition of out-of-state marriages)
    State Court Level: Trial
    Status: Filed 2/17/13. Effort to block provision of spousal health insurance benefits to city employees married to same-sex spouses out of state.  Removed to federal court 12/27/13.  On 8/28/14, the federal district court remanded the case back to state court and held that the motions of the federal Freeman plaintiffs (represented by Lambda Legal) to intervene and to consolidate the Freeman case with Pidgeon were therefore moot. Plaintiff resought and again obtained an injunction from the trial court, in conflict with the federal court ruling.  The trial court order has been appealed, which stayed it. The appeal has now been fully briefed on the merits, but the court has requested supplemental briefs on the impact of the marriage cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court. Oral argument of the appeal has been scheduled for 7/22/15. 
  • Nuckols v. Perry*

    Case Type: Seeking only the freedom to marry for unmarried same-sex couples
    Counsel: In Pro Per
    Federal Circuit: 5th
    Status: Filed 1/9/14.  Defendants filed a motion to dismiss 2/13/14, which was held moot due to plaintiffs’ filing of a motion for leave to file an amended complaint, which was granted 4/9/14.  On that date, the court also granted a joint motion to stay pending the 5th Circuit’s decision in DeLeon v. Perry.  Nontheless, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint on 4/15/14 and defendant Rosen has filed a further motion to dismiss.  On 5/28/14, defendants filed a consent to proceed before a magistrate judge.
  • Texas v. Naylor

    Case Type: Same-sex couple is seeking a divorce, (includes federal claims)
    Counsel: Akin Gump Strauss Hauever & Feld LLP; Law Offices of Robert B. Luther, P.C.
    State Court Level: Supreme
    Status: Divorce case involving same-sex couple in which lower court granted a divorce was appealed by state Attorney General and argued to the state supreme court on 11/5/13.  On 6/19/15 the court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals that the state Attorney General had delayed to long to intervene and therefore could not appeal.  The court therefore dismissed the appeal and denied the Attorney General’s petition for a writ of mandamus, thereby keeping the divorce intact.   
  • J.B. v. Dallas County

    Case Type: Same-sex couple is seeking a divorce, (includes federal claims)
    Counsel: James J. Scheske; Jason Stead
    State Court Level: Supreme
    Status: Divorce case in which lower court granted a divorce was appealed by state Attorney General and argued to the state supreme court on 11/5/13.  Awaiting decision. J.B.’s motion to dismiss on mootness grounds based on the death of J.B.’s spouse was filed on 4/17/15.  A response was filed on 5/1/15.  On 6/19/15, the motion to dismiss was granted.  

* Cases filed, or that newly included a marriage claim, since the decision in Windsor are marked with an asterisk.