Laws

United States of America

TEXAS

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Benefits
Bullying
Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Estates, Wills
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Inheritance, Succession
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Military
Parenting
Partners
Privacy
Property
Sodomy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

Please read the Disclaimer

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

A minor reaches the age of majority at the age of seventeen (17) years.

Texas Penal Code Title 5. Offences Against the Person, Chapter 21. Sexual Offences [L1.2]

Sec. 21.11. Indecency with a child

(a) person commits an offense if, with a child younger than 17 years and not the person ’s spouse, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex, the person:

(1) engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or [...]


A minor may petition to have the disabilities of minority removed for limited or general purposes if the minor is:

  • a resident of Texas;
  • 17 years old, or at least 16 years old and living apart from the minor's parents or guardian, and
  • is self-supporting and managing the minor's own financial affairs. Texas Family Code Chapter 31 [L1.1].
  Contributor: Helene G. Parker
L1.2 Texas Penal Code: Chapter 21. Sexual Offences
L1.1 Texas Family Code: Removal of Disabilities of Minority
Annuities, Death Benefits, Employee Benefits, Pensions, Retirement, Social Security, Superannuation Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 04 December 2017, the US Supreme Court declined to review the Texas Supreme Court decision that in dismissing a lower court ruling that said spouses of gay and lesbian public employees are entitled to government-subsidized marriage benefits, ruled that the legalization of same-sex marriage does not fully address the right to marriage benefits [C1.4], [R1.3].

On 30 June 2017, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples are not necessarily entitled to government-dispensed spousal benefits, finding that the US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges did not resolve issues such as payments of municipal employees' spousal benefits. The case was remanded to the trial court [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.4 Order List: 583 U.S.: Certiorari Denied: Turner, Mayor, et al.v. Pidgeon, Jack, et al. No. 17-424 PDF 132.55kb 04 DEC 19
R1.3 TheTexasTribune: U.S. Supreme Court declines to consider Houston fight over same-sex marriage benefits 04 DEC 17
C1.2 Opinion: Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks v. Mayor Sylvester Turner and City of Houston No. 15-0688 PDF 158.17kb 30 JUN 17
R1.1 ReutersUS: Top Texas court sides against same-sex couple marriage benefits 30 JUN 17
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [PARENTING]
1.

State

Artificial insemination and assisted reproduction procedures are available to all women [R1.1] who are married or single [L1.1].

Sec. 160.704. Consent to Assisted Reproduction. (a) Consent by a married woman to assisted reproduction must be in a record signed by the woman and her husband and kept by a licensed physician. This requirement does not apply to the donation of eggs by a married woman for assisted reproduction by another woman.

Sec. 160.754. Gestational Agreement Authorised.

(a) A prospective gestational mother, her husband if she is married, each donor, and each intended parent may enter into a written agreement providing that: [...]

(b) The intended parents must be married to each other. Each intended parent must be a party to the gestational agreement. [...]

  Contributor: Helene G. Parker
2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 10 February 2011, the Texas Court of Appeals ruled that the Harris County District Court had properly ordered the registration in Texas of a California decree involving a Houston gay male couple who were "intended parents" under a 2005 gestational surrogacy agreement, concluding also that the California decree, in the words of Chief Justice Sherry Radack, "qualifies as a child custody determination despite the absence of customary custody provisions on the face of the judgment" [C2.1], [R2.1].

C2.1 First Court of Appeals: Jerry L Berwick v Richard T Wagner No. 01-09-0834-CV PDF 201,79kb, 10 FEB 11
R2.1 Gay City News: California Surrogacy Decree Protects Both Dads, Texas Finds 22 FEB 11
L1.1 Texas Statutes: Chapter 160 (Accessed 13 JUN 09)
R1.1 Contributor: Helene G. Parker
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Texas Family Code (TFC), Chapter 153, Sec. 153.001. Public Policy [L1.1]

(a) The public policy of this state is to:

(1) assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child;
(2) provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment for the child;
(3) encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage;

(b) A court may not render an order that conditions the right of visitation on the payment of child support.

2.

Texas does not use the term custody. It uses the term conservator.

A conservator is someone who makes the decisions for the child.

An individual may be a managing conservator or a possessory conservator:

(a) A managing conservator is someone who has actual physical possession of the child (i.e., physical custody of the child);

(b) A possessory conservator is someone who does not have actual physical possession of the child, but who has the right of visitation and access to the child;

An individual who has conservatorship may be a parent, grandparent, an agency, or a relative. To have standing to bring suit for conservatorship, the child must have resided with an individual for the preceding 6 months.
3. The standard for determining conservatorship and visitation is the best interest of the child. TFC Chapter 153.002.
4.

An individual may be a joint managing conservator or a sole managing conservator of a child. TFC Chapter 153.005;

A joint managing conservator is an individual or parent who shares parenting rights and duties with another individual or parent. When making decisions regarding the best interest of the child, the primary managing conservator is required to discuss his or her decision making with the other parent
A sole managing conservator is an individual or parent who is not required to share parenting rights and duties with another parent.
5. With very few exceptions, a sole managing or joint managing conservator may not deprive the other parent of his or her right to visit and have access to the child.
6. When determining conservatorship and visitation, the court does not discriminate on the basis of gender or marital status of the party. TFC Chapter 153.003.
7. However, if the Court finds that one parent has been convicted of domestic violence, the Court may designate the other parent as sole managing conservator.
8. It is a state jail felony for a noncustodial parent to take or retain a child in violation of the terms of the visitation order. Texas Penal Code Chapter 25.03.
9. It is state jail felony for a noncustodial parent if he or she intentionally interferes with the lawful custody of the a child and he or she knowingly entices or persuades the child to leave the custody of the custodial parent or guardian. Texas Penal Code Chapter 25.03
  Contributor: Helene G. Parker
10.

Courts & Tribunals

On 07 May 2013, Judge John Roach in the 296th District Court imposed a 'morality clause' in a custody dispute ordering that anyone who isn't related by 'blood or marriage' can't be around Carolyn Compton's children past 9 pm, effectively forcing her partner Page Price to leave the home within 30 days [C10.4], [R10.3].

On 24 June 2011, Harris County Associate Judge Charley E. Prine, Jr. issued a ruling which included an unprecedented injunction which prohibits a father from leaving his children alone with any man they aren’t related to "by blood or adoption" [R10.2].

In August 2000, in a custody suit, District Judge Bill Peek ordered that gay overnight guests were "an absolute prohibition," and he forbade any conversation with the child "about her dad's … homosexual relationship" [R10.1].

L1.1 Texas Family Code: Chapter 153. Conservatorship, Possession, and Access
C10.4 In the Matter of the Marriage of Carolyn Compton v. Joshua Shane Compton and the Interest of Taylor Madison Compton, Courtney Ranae Compton Case No. 296-54663-2010
R10.3 GayStarNews: Lesbian forced from partner, two kids by Texas judge's 'morality clause' 18 MAY 13
R10.2 The Houston Chronicle: Houston judge limits rights of gay father 22 AUG 11
R10.1 Dallas Voice: Fairness an Issue in Custody Case 01 SEP 00
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 25 September 2015, Tarrant County Clerk Mary Louise Garcia released a statement saying that her office will accept common-law marriage affidavits from same-sex couples seeking to file such affidavits dated prior to the June 26, 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming marriage equality. This clarification should apply throughout Texas [R1.3].

On 26 June 2015, same-sex marriage became lawful nationwide, see: Federal: Marriage: Courts & Tribunals at [C2.34], [R2.33].

On 11 February 2013, Sen. Juan Hinojosa introduced Senate Bill 480 (Relating to the formation of a civil union between persons of the same sex; providing penalties). To become law (1) it has to pass the House, (2) the Texas constitution has to be amended, (3) the Governor must sign it and (4) voters must approve it [L1.2], [R1.1].

2.

County

On 30 October 2012, the Dallas County Commissioners Court voted 3–2 to approve a subsidy for the purchase or continuation of medical insurance which will be offered to any county employee's same-sex and opposite-sex partner and children as long as they provide evidence that they have lived together for at least six months or more [R2.3].

On 13 August 2012, El Paso County Commissioners voted to allow health benefits to same-sex partners for county employees at an estimated cost of just under $24,000 per year [R2.2].

On 17 December 1999, Travis County reportedly had apparently been accepting sworn "declarations of domestic partnership" however, Attorney General John Cornyn ruled County clerks were not authorized to file "same-sex marriage" agreements from gay and lesbian couples [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

On 15 September 2010, San Antonio passed a new 2012 budget 8–3 that included domestic partner benefits for city employees [R3.6].

On 14 June 2011, El Paso City Council reinstated health insurance benefits to gay and unmarried couples as well as other current and former city workers who were the unintended targets of a voter-approved ordinance [R3.5].

On 02 November 2010, an ordinance was passed by 55% of voters, stripping El Paso domestic partner benefits from gay workers, effective 01 January 2011. The ordinance may have also taken benefits away from retired police officers and elected officials [R3.4].

See also 4. Courts & Tribunals [R4.4]

On 02 November 2009, the city of Austin announced that it will start offering COBRA-like (The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of city employees, giving them access to health care insurance in the event of job loss, divorce, or death [R3.3].

On 30 July 2009, El Paso City Council voted 6–1 to domestic partner extend health benefits to gay and unmarried heterosexual partners of municipal employees [R3.2].

Dallas reportedly provides domestic partners benefits to their employees [R3.2].

In November 2001, voters in Houston, approved amending the city charter to prohibit the nation's fourth-largest city from offering benefits to domestic partners of gay and lesbian municipal employees [R3.1].

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 23 May 2011, US District Court Judge Frank Montalvo ruled the ordinance intended to deny health benefits for same sex and unwed partners of El Paso city employees will stand. That means everyone who is not a city employee, including appointed judges, will no longer have benefits [R4.4].


On 03 March 2003, Judge Tom Mulvaney signed a divorce decree for Russell Smith, 26, and John Anthony, 34, a Beaumont couple granted a license of civil union in Vermont in February 2002 [R4.3].

On 26 March 2003, the Texas Attorney General filed a general petition in the District Court arguing that the divorce is unconstitutional and never should have been granted [R4.2].

On 31 March 2003, State District Judge Tom Mulvaney dismissed the divorce filing after Russell Smith, 36, requested his petition for dissolution be discharged [R4.1].

  Contributor: Helene G. Parker
R1.3 DallasVoice: Tarrant County Clerk says her office will accept common-law marriage affidavit 25 SEP 15
L1.2 Texas Legislature: SB 480: Relating to the formation of a civil union between persons of the same sex; providing penalties (Accessed 14 FEB 13)
R1.1 Yahoo! News: Bill Introduced in Texas Legislature to Permit Same-Sex Civil Unions 13 FEB 13
R2.3 Huffington Post: Dallas County Approves Domestic Partner Insurance Subsidy That Includes Same-Sex Couples 31 OCT 12
R2.2 KTSM: County Approves Same-Sex Benefits 13 AUG 12
R2.1 Houston Chronicle: Attorney General Cornyn Strikes Gay and Lesbian Marriage Pacts 18 DEC 99
R3.6 The Advocate: San Antonio Votes to Provide DP Benefits to City Employees 19 SEP 11
R3.5 Westport News: El Paso restores gay and unwed couples' benefits 14 JUN 11
R3.4 The Advocate: Mistake in El Paso Antigay Law 03 JAN 11
R3.3 The Advocate: Austin Adds COBRA to DP Benefits 03 NOV 09
R3.2 Speak Equal: Domestic Partners Receive Health Care Benefits In El Paso 31 JUL 09
R3.1 Associated Press: Five Cities Vote on Gay-Rights Issues 07 NOV 01
R4.4 KVIA / ABC7: Reaction From Those Losing City Benefits Through Ordinance 24 MAY 11
R4.3 Associated Press: Texas Judge Grants Same-Sex Divorce 07 MAR 03
R4.2 Beaumont Enterprise: No Gay Marriage, No Gay Divorce, AG says 27 MAR 03
R4.1 Associated Press: Houston Judge Dismisses Gay Divorce Case 02 APR 03
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

There is no State-wide law protecting against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation [R1.2].

See also: "Texas – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Documentation of Discrimination" [R1.1].

2.

County

On 13 November 2103, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia announced that a sweeping policy designed to protect and guarantee equal treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inmates took effect and includes allowing transgender individuals to be housed based on the gender they identify with instead of their biological sex. The policy states “discrimination or harassment of any kind based on sexual orientation or gender identity is strictly prohibited” [R2.2].

On 26 April 2011, Dallas County court of commissioners added sexual orientation to the county's workplace nondiscrimination policy [R2.1].

On 22 March 2011, the Dallas County court of commissioners added sexual orientation to the county's nondiscrimination policy [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

On 12 November 2015, kxan.com reported that Dallas city leaders voted to change the language in its laws that protects the rights of gay and transgender people, clarifying that gender identity, or whether you identify as a man or a woman, is separate from sexual orientation [R3.15].

On 03 November 2015, with about 95 percent of votes counted, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) ordinance failed, losing 61 percent to 39 percent. The Ordinance sought to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and 11 other characteristics in employment, housing, and public accommodation [R3.14].

On 08 December 2014, the Plano City Council voted 5-3 to pass the Equal Rights Ordinance and ban anti-LGBT discrimination in public accommodation, employment practices, housing transactions and city contracting practices (with an exception for restrooms and an exemptions for religious organizations; political organizations; nonprofit organizations, except those receiving city grant money; educational institutions; private clubs; and state and federal agencies) [R3.13].


On 15 August 2014, it was reported that the legal action launched by opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance after the petition to put the ordinance to the voters was rejected, would be heard 19 January 2015, meaning the implementation of the law will be delayed [R4.1].

See now: 4. Courts & Tribunals at [C4.7], [R4.6]

Previously

On 04 August 2014, the City of Houston revealed that as so many of the signatures to a petititon opposing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance had been declared invalid - with many collected before the law was even published - that the petition had failed to force a vote on the law [R3.12].

On 05 July 2014, faith-based groups who oppose the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance were reported to have submitted boxes of over 50,000 signatures opposed to the ordinance, which is more than double the 17,269 required to force a public ballot on the matter [R3.11].

On 28 May 2014, Houston City Council voted 11-6 in favor of Ordinance No. 2014-530 that consolidates city bans on discrimination in housing, employment and services provided by private businesses based on sex, race, age, religion and other categories and increases protections for gay and transgender residents. It takes effect in 30 days [R3.10].


On 05 September 2013, San Antonio City Council approved 8-3 an ordinance adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of classes protected from bias, including race, religion, age and disability. It affects city employees, city contracts, housing and city officials as well as members of municipal boards and commissions [R3.9].


On 17 August 2010, St. Vincent's School in Bedford refused to enrol the daughter of Jill and Tracy Harrison, a lesbian couple married in Canada [R3.8].


On 25 March 2010, Houston mayor Annise Parker issued an executive order banning discrimination against LGBT city employees [R3.7].


In August 2007, High Point Church in Arlington banned the funeral service of former US Navy serviceman Cecil Sinclair when they reviewed photos of Sinclair's memorial service which depicted aspects of his same sex relationship [R3.6].


In April 2003, El Paso City Council expanded its anti-discrimination ordinance to make discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity unlawful [R3.5].


On 08 May 2002, Dallas City Council voted almost unanimously to amend the Dallas City Code extending protection from discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation" (defined to include "real or perceived gender identity") in employment, housing and public accommodations to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender residents of Dallas [R3.4].


In July 2001, the Houston City Council voted 10–4 for a law that will protect gay city employees, prohibiting discrimination by the city on the basis of sexual orientation, and discrimination over such factors as race and gender [R3.3].

In 1984, Houston's city council banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in city hiring, promotion, and contracting. Voters repealed the ordinance the following year. Mayor Lee Brown reinstated the policy by executive order in 1998 and the Texas Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to the policy in June 2001, letting the executive order stand [R3.2].


In September 2000, Fort Worth's anti-discrimination ordinance covers age, color, creed, disability, family status, gender, national origin, race, religion and from 26 September 2000 now sexual preference [R3.1].

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 31 December 2016, US District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a preliminary injunction preventing the Obama administration from enforcing the regulation enacted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to prohibit discrimination in health care against transgender people and women who have had abortions [C4.9], [R4.8].

On 24 July 2015, the Texas Supreme Court in a somewhat curious ruling held that Houston's LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance must be repealed by 24 August or ordered to be put to a popular vote in the November 2015 election [C4.7], [R4.6].

On 17 April 2015, Harris County District Court Judge Robert Schaffer the City of Houston was within its rights to reject a petition circulated by conservative activists that would have referred the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance to city voters. Schaffer agreed with city officials that the petition bore insufficient valid signatures to compel a referendum. An appeal has been mooted [C4.5], [R4.4].

On 19 November 2014, US District Court Judge David A Ezra held that Title VII's prohibition against sex discrimination does not extend to a transgender employee and dismissed Loretta Eure's sex-discrimination claim [C4.3], [R4.2].

On 15 August 2014, it was reported that the legal action launched by opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance after the petition to put the ordinance to the voters was rejected, would be heard 19 January 2015, meaning the implementation of the law will be delayed [R4.1].

R1.2 Contributor: Helene G. Parker
R1.1 Williams Institute: Texas – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Documentation of Discrimination PDF 210.44kb, SEP 09
R2.2 FoxNews: Texas county adopts sweeping policy to protect LGBT inmates 14 NOV 13
R2.1 The Advocate: Trans Protections Approved in Dallas 27 APR 11
R3.15 kxan.com: Changes to Dallas law provides more protections for LGBTQ 12 NOV 15
R3.14 TheAdvocate: Houston Votes to Go Backward on Equal Rights Ordinance 03 NOV 15
R3.13 SDGLN: Texas: Plano adds LGBT protections 09 DEC 14
R3.12 abc13: Houston declares non-discrimination ordinance's repeal petition invalid 04 AUG 14
R3.11 PinkNews: Houston church groups submit signatures to trigger referendum on equality law 05 JUL 14
R3.10 SeattlePI: Houston approves expanded protections for gays 28 MAY 14
R3.9 The Washington Post: San Antonio adopts gay-bias protections 06 SEP 13
R3.8 The Advocate: Texas School Denies Child of Gay Moms 21 AUG 10
R3.7 The Advocate: Parker Signs Discrimination Order 02 APR 10
R3.6 MCV: Church Bans Gay Funeral 16 AUG 07
R3.5 El Paso Times: City Amends Ordinance on Discrimination 09 APR 03
R3.4 Texas Triangle: City of Dallas Passes GLBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance 10 MAY 02
Dallas Morning News: Anti-discrimination Law OK'd by Council 08 MAY 02
R3.3 Houston Chronicle: Council Votes to Ban Discrimination by City Against Gay Employees 25 JUL 01
R3.2 The Advocate: "Texas Court Stands by Antidiscrimination Law" 23-25 JUN 01
R3.1 PlanetOut: Fort Worth, Texas Adopts Rights 27 SEP 00
4. Courts & Tribunals
C4.9 Order: Franciscan Alliance Inc. et al v. Sylvia Burwell and United States Department of Health and Human Services No. 7:16-cv-00108-O PDF 509.12kb 31 DEC 16
R4.8 WashingtonBlade: Judge blocks rule against anti-trans health care discrimination 31 DEC 16
C4.7 Opinion: In Re Jared Woodfill et al., Relators No. 14-0667 PDF 94.54kb 24 JUL 15
R4.6 Slate: Texas Supreme Court Rules Houston LGBT Rights Ordinance Must Be Put to a Vote or Repealed
C4.5 Final Judgment: Jared Woodfill, F.N. Williams, Sr., and Max Miller v. Annise D Parker, Anna Russell No. 2014-44974 PDF 509.35kb 17 APR 15
R4.4 EdgeMediaNetwork: Court Rules in Favor of Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance 18 APR 15
C4.3 Order: Loretta Eure v. The Sage Corporation No. 5:12-CV-1119-DAE PDF 202.51kb, 19 NOV 14
R4.2 WorkForce: Federal Court: Title VII Does Not Protect the Transgendered 02 DEC 14
R4.1 HoustonChronicle: Foes drop TRO bid to force ERO ordinance to November ballot 15 AUG 14
Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In Texas, there is no legislation regulating the division of property when same-sex couples split up [R1.2].

In such instances, a property dispute would be resolved by mediation and the application principles of contract and trust law.

Same-sex couples should therefore put in place a partnership and property agreement prior to entering into a relationship [R1.1].

1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 20 November 2015, following the remand of the case from the Thirteenth Court of Appeals, Judge Randy Clapp in the District Court of Wharton County vacated the Court's 26 May 2011 judgment and concluded that the motion for summary judgment be granted, finding that Thomas Trevino Araguz III was legally married to transgender widow Nikki Purdue Araguz and the legal spouse of the deceased at the date of his death, so ensuring her entitlement to death benefits [C2.16], [R2.15].

On 23 October 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Thirteenth District of Texas affirmed its 13 February 2014 order that reversed the lower Court's summary judgment that the transgender marriage of Nikki Araguz was void, remanding the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III case to the 329th District Court of Wharton County for further proceedings consistent with its opinion [C2.14], [R2.13].

On 05 October 2015, in what is believed to be the first judicially recognized common-law same-sex marriage, Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman signed a judgment acknowledging the eight-year relationship between Sonemaly Phrasavath and her deceased partner Stella Powell in a probate dispute over Powell's estate [R2.12].

On 16 September 2015, Travis County Probate Court Judge Guy Herman approved an out-of-court settlement that recognizes the eight-year relationship between Sonemaly Phrasavath and her deceased partner Stella Powell as a common-law marriage. The agreement divided Powell's estate roughly in half between Phrasavath and members of Powell’s family. It also acknowledged Phrasavath as Powell’s spouse from a common-law or informal marriage [R2.11].

On 25 August 2015, the State Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a motion in an attempt to stop Sonemaly Phrasavath from inheriting any portion of her late partner Stella Powell's estate, despite his having pledged to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of same-sex marriage the day before. Stella Powell died in 2014 without leaving a Will and the couple were together for eight year [R2.10].

On 31 July 2015, it was reported that more than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage, Texas is not fully recognizing the landmark ruling and refuses to issue death certificates that recognize same-sex marriages. In August 2014, James Stone and John Stone-Hoskins exchanged vows in New Mexico. James took his own life mid-January after a diagnosis with a genetic autoimmune disease called Sjögren's syndrome. The death certificate lists James as single and refers to John as "significant other," meaning he is not entitled to his spouse's estate [R2.9].

On 17 February 2015, a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus was filed on behalf of Attorney General Ken Davis appealing the order of Travis County Probate Court Judge Guy Herman in the Estate Stella Marie Powell case [C2.8].

On 17 February 2015, Judge Guy Herman in the Travis County Probate Court found the State ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in a case where Sonemaly Phrasavath was seeking to establish her rights in the estate of her deceased partner Stella Powell [C2.7], [R2.6].

On 13 February 2014, the Thirteenth District Court of Appeals ruled in “In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Deceased” that Texas must recognise the marriages of trans people and remanded the case for further proceedings concerning the death benefits claim [C2.5], [R2.4].

On 24 May 2011, 329th Wharton County District Judge Randy Clapp issued a draft order finding that "any marriage between Thomas Araguz and [male to female transgender] Nikki Araguz was void as a matter of law" and Thomas "was not married at the time of his death" and accordingly Araguz is not entitled to inheritance of $600,000 in death benefits and assets [R2.3].

Previously:

On 20 May 2011, State District Judge Randy Clapp was expected to rule on the transgender death benefits claim of widow Nikki Araguz in a week or so [R2.2].

On 23 July 2010, transgender widow Nikki Araguz was temporarily barred from collecting or spending death benefits from her husband, a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty earlier that month [R2.1].

See further under MARRIAGE: Courts & Tribunals

R1.2 Contributor: Helene G. Parker
R1.1 See: GayLawNet - Information - Partners
C2.16 Final Summary Judgment: In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III No. 44575 20 NOV 15
R2.15 GayStarNews: More than five years after firefighter's death, transgender widow to get his death benefits 15 NOV 15
C2.14 Mandate: In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Deceased No. 13-11-00490-CV PDF 59.37kb, 23 OCT 15
R2.13 LGBTQnation: Court sides with transgender widow in fight over estate 26 OCT 15
R2.12 Star-Telegram: Judge recognizes 1st common-law same-sex marriage in Texas 06 OCT 15
R2.11 Austin American-Statesman: Over Ken Paxton’s objection, judge OKs gay marriage settlement 16 SEP 15
R2.10 PinkNews: Texas Attorney General trying to stop lesbian inheriting her late partner's estate 11 SEP 15
R2.9 KHOU.com: Texas refuses to issue same-sex couples death certificates 31 JUL 15
C2.8 Petition for Writ of Mandamus: In re State of Texas No. 15-0139 PDF 82.60kb 17 FEB 15
C2.7 Order: Estate of Stella Marie Powell No. C-1-PB-14-001695 PDF 82.60kb, 17 FEB 15
R2.6 kxan: Texas ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, judge rules 17 FEB 15
C2.5 Opinion: In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Deceased No. 13-11-00490-CV PDF 412.49kb, 13 FEB 14
R2.4 PinkNews: Court orders Texas to recognise marriages of trans people 13 FEB 14
R2.3 Jezebel: Judge Decides Transgender Widow's Marriage Was Illegal 26 MAY 11
R2.2 ABC13.com: Widow's death benefit battle back in court 20 MAY 11
R2.1 Dallas Voice: Judge bars fallen firefighter's transgender widow from collecting, spending death benefits 23 JUL 10
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

There is no State-wide law protecting against discrimination on the basis of gender identity [R1.4].


On 04 February 2016, it was reported that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice updated its policy to enable transgender inmates in prisons to begin hormone therapy while incarcerated. Previously only inmates who came into the system already taking hormones could continue doing so [R1.3].

On 14 May 2013, the Senate passed SB 1218, a Bill that would prevent people from obtaining a licence with a document that lacks photographic identification and dramatically affect transgender residents seeking a marriage licence. The Bill still needs to pass both a House panel and the full chamber by Tuesday 21 May [L1.2], [R1.1].

2.

County

On 26 April 2011, the Commissioners Court added "transgender, gender identity, and gender expression" to the county's existing laws against workplace discrimination [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

On 04 December 2015, it was reported that the City of Houston had voted 61% to 39% to repeal a new city ordinance outlawing discrimination based on religion, sexual orientation and race was passed last April [R3.2].

Dallas, Fort Worth [R3.1], El Paso and Houston City Councils have anti-discrimination codes enacted.

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 13 January 2017, US District Judge Judge Fitzwater in Texas gave Charlize Marie Baker the go-ahead to pursue a discrimination claim under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act against her employer, L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, for denying her coverage for her breast augmentation surgery and her after-surgery recovery. However, Judge Fitzwater rejected her discrimination claims under the Affordable Care Act against Aetna Life Insurance Company, the insurance company that provides the coverage and administers the plans on L-3's behalf [C4.17], [R4.16].

On 20 November 2016, US District Judge Reed O’Connor declined to halt his decision against guidance from the Obama administration prohibiting schools from discriminating against transgender students [C4.15], [R4.14].

On 20 October 2016, the government filed an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit of a federal judge's decision to temporarily block an Obama administration directive on bathroom rights for transgender students in public schools nationwide [C4.13], [R4.12].

On 18 October 2016, US District Judge Reed O'Connor clarified the 21 August preliminary injunction against preventing implementation of the anti-transgender guidance is limited to the issue of access to intimate facilities and applies nationwide and isn't limited to the 12 states led by Texas that sued the Obama administration over the guidance [C4.11], [R4.10].

On 02 August 2016, 14th Court of Appeals upheld the denial of the petition of F2M transgender Alex Winston Hunter, formerly known as Aidyn Rocher requesting a gender designation change. The 308th District Court had granted him a change of name but denied the gender designation change [C4.9], [R4.8].

On 13 February 2014, the 13th District Court of Appeals ruled in “In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Deceased” that Texas must recognise the marriages of trans people and remanded the case for further proceedings concerning the death benefits claim [C4.7], [R4.6]. See Estates above at R2.13 to C2.16.

On 26 May 2011, 329th Wharton County District Judge Randy Clapp signed the order voiding the marriage between Thomas Araguz and Nikke Araguz [C4.5], [R4.4].

On 24 May 2011, 329th Wharton County District Judge Randy Clapp issued a draft order finding that "any marriage between Thomas Araguz and [male to female transgender] Nikki Araguz was void as a matter of law" and Thomas "was not married at the time of his death" [R4.3].

On 27 October 1999, the Texas Court of Appeals concluded that a male-to-female transsexual: "as a matter of law, Christie Littleton is a male. As a male, Christie cannot be married to another male. Her marriage to Jonathon was invalid, and she cannot bring a cause of action as his surviving spouse" [C4.2].

The Texas Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of that ruling [R4.1].

R1.4 Contributor: Helene G. Parker
R1.3 HoustonChronical: State now offers hormone therapy to transgender inmates 04 FEB 16
L1.2 Bill: SB 1218 Relating to the proof of an applicant's identity and age required for the issuance of a marriage license 06 MAR 13
R1.1 PinkNews: Anti-trans marriage law gains Senate approval 16 MAY 13
R2.1 The Advocate: Trans Protections Approved in Dallas 27 APR 11
R3.2 DansPapers: Houston Repeals Law Allowing Transgender Bathroom Choice 04 DEC 15
R3.1 Texas Triangle: City of Dallas Passes GLBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance 10 MAY 02
4. Courts & Tribunals
C4.17 Memorandum Opinion and Order: Charlize Marie Baker v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al. No. 3:15-CV-3679-D PDF 40.59kb 13 JAN 17
R4.16 GayCityNews: Trans Employee Can Sue If Surgery Benefits Refused 19 JAN 17
C4.15 Order: State of Texas et al. v. United States of America et al No. 7:16-cv-00054-O PDF 276.12kb, 20 NOV 16
R4.14 TheWashingtonBlade: Court won’t stay decision against trans student protections 23 NOV 16
C4.13 Notice of Appeal: State of Texas, et al v. United States of America, et al No. 7:16-cv-54-O PDF 34.37kb 20 OCT 16
R4.12 WashingtonBlade: DOJ appeals ruling against trans student protections 21 OCT 16
C4.11 Order: State of Texas et al. v. United States of America No. 7:16-cv-00054-O PDF 340.87kb 18 OCT 16
R4.10 WashingtonBlade: Judge says order against trans protections applies nationwide 19 OCT 16
C4.9 Memorandum Opinion: In Re: Aidyn Rocher No. 14-15-00462-CV PDF 116.19kb 02 AUG 16
R4.8 CourthouseNewsService: Texas Court Disallows Official Gender Change 09 AUG 16
C4.7 Opinion: In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Deceased No. 13-11-00490-CV PDF 412.49kb, 13 FEB 14
R4.6 PinkNews: Court orders Texas to recognise marriages of trans people 13 FEB 14
C4.5 329th District Court: Order Granting Administrator's and Intervenor's Motions for Summary Judgment PDF 109.96kb, 26 MAY 11
R4.4 Houston Chronicle: Texas judge voids transgender widow's marriage 31 MAY 11
R4.3 Jezebel: Judge Decides Transgender Widow's Marriage Was Illegal 26 MAY 11
C4.2 Press for Change: Littleton v. Prange, 9 S.W. 3d 223 (1999)
R4.1 GenderPAC National News: GPAC Applauds MD Recognition of Sex Change 18 FEB 03

GayLawNet®™ "Exclusive" Sponsorship of this page IS available
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [VIOLENCE] [WRONGFUL DEATH]
1.

State

Texas Statutes, Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 42. Judgment and Sentence [L1.3]

Art. 42.014. Finding that Offence was Committed because of Bias or Prejudice

(a) In the trial of an offense under Title 5, Penal Code, or Section 28.02, 28.03, or 28.08, Penal Code, the judge shall make an affirmative finding of fact and enter the affirmative finding in the judgment of the case if at the guilt or innocence phase of the trial, the judge or the jury, whichever is the trier of fact, determines beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally selected the person against whom the offense was committed or intentionally selected property damaged or affected as a result of the offense because of the defendant ’s bias or prejudice against a group identified by race, color, disability, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, gender, or sexual preference […] Effective 01 September 2001.


On 11 May 2001, Governor Rick Perry signed the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act into law, creating harsher penalties for those who commit crimes against members of the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community and other minority groups [R1.2].

On 07 May 2001, the Senate voted 20–10 to approve the bill that increases the penalties for committing a crime based on hatred or bias [R1.1].

L1.3 Texas Statutes: Chapter 42 (Accessed 14 JUN 09)
R1.2 Associated Press: Texas Gov. Signs Hate-Crimes Bill 11 MAY 01
R1.1 Austin American-Statesman: Texas Senate Passes Hate-Crimes Bill 08 MAY 01
Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [HIV, AIDS]
1.

State

On 04 January 2016, it was reported that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice updated its policy to enable transgender inmates in prisons to begin hormone therapy while incarcerated. Previously only inmates who came into the system already taking hormones could continue doing so [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 11 December 2014, the Austin City Council unanimously passed a transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits resolution for city employees. Beginning in 2015, the plan will now include hormone therapy, mental health care and surgical care. The council also approved the recommended change to city code to require gender-neutral signage for single occupancy bathrooms [R2.2].

On 20 November 2013, Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced that same-sex couples who have legally wed in a state that recognizes such marriages and work for the city of Houston will be eligible for the same health care and life insurance benefits as straight couples [R2.1].

See also: 3. Courts & Tribunals below.

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 13 January 2017, US District Judge Judge Fitzwater in Texas gave Charlize Marie Baker the go-ahead to pursue a discrimination claim under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act against her employer, L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, for denying her coverage for her breast augmentation surgery and her after-surgery recovery. However, Judge Fitzwater rejected her discrimination claims under the Affordable Care Act against Aetna Life Insurance Company, the insurance company that provides the coverage and administers the plans on L-3's behalf [C3.8], [R3.7].

On 31 December 2016, US District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a preliminary injunction preventing the Obama administration from enforcing the regulation enacted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to prohibit discrimination in health care against transgender people and women who have had abortions [C3.6], [R3.5].

On 05 November 2014, State District Judge Lisa Millard granted a temporary injunction ordering the city of Houston to stop offering health and life insurance benefits to the same-sex spouses of married employees [R3.4].

On 28 August 2014, US District Lee Rosenthal sent the Jared R. Woodfill, Steven F Hotze, F N Williams and Max Miller v. Annise D Parker, Anna Russell and City Of Houston No. 2014-44974, lawsuit involving city of Houston benefits for the spouses of same-sex married couples back to state court [R3.3].

On 21 May 2013, Judge Patrick Garcia of the 384th District Court in Carl Starr v. Veronica Escobar, Case No. 2013DCV1713, refused to issue a temporary injunction against an ordinance allowing the provision of health care benefits to the same-sex partners of El Paso County employees [C3.2], [R3.1].

R1.1 HoustonChronical: State now offers hormone therapy to transgender inmates 04 FEB 16
R2.2 HRC: Austin to Offer Trans -Inclusive Health Benefits for City Employees 12 DEC 14
R2.1 CultureMapHouston: Parker extends same-sex spousal benefits to city workers, but it doesn't apply to her 20 NOV 13
C3.8 Memorandum Opinion and Order: Charlize Marie Baker v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al. No. 3:15-CV-3679-D PDF 40.59kb 13 JAN 17
R3.7 GayCityNews: Trans Employee Can Sue If Surgery Benefits Refused 19 JAN 17
C3.6 Order: Franciscan Alliance Inc. et al v. Sylvia Burwell and United States Department of Health and Human Services No. 7:16-cv-00108-O PDF 509.12kb 31 DEC 16
R3.5 WashingtonBlade: Judge blocks rule against anti-trans health care discrimination 31 DEC 16
R3.4 HoustonChronicle: Judge blocks same-sex city benefits, for now 05 NOV 14
R3.3 Houston Chronicle: Federal judge returns same-sex case back to state court 29 AUG 14
C3.2 Carl Starr v. Veronica Escobar, Case No. 2013DCV1713 21 MAY 13
R3.1 Courthouse News Service: Judge Won't Toss Benefits for Same-Sex Partners 24 MAY 12
HIV Aids Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [HEALTH, MEDICAL]
1.

State

The Health & Safety Code Chapter 81.102 [L1.1] provides that –

"A person may not require another person to undergo a medical procedure or test designed to determine if a person has HIV/Aids unless:

the medical procedure is required under the Code of Criminal Procedure Articles 21.31 or 81.050; or
the test is necessary for a bona fide occupational qualification and there is not a less discriminatory means of satisfying the occupational qualification (An employer who alleges that a test is necessary as a bina fide occupational qualification has the burden of proving that allegation); or
to screen blood or tissues to determine suitability for donation
[...]

The Health & Safety Code Chapter 81.103 [L1.1] provides that –

HIV/AIDS test results are confidential. It is a class A misdemeanor to release test results:

except in certain proscribed circumstances; or
where the person tested or a person authorized to consent to the test on the person's behalf may voluntarily authorize release or disclose the test result.
However, the authorization must be in writing, signed by the person tested and must state the person or class of persons to whom the test results may be released or disclosed.
  Contributor: Helene G. Parker
2.

Courts & Tribunals

In 1996, a judge ordered a man with AIDS to obtain written consent from all future sex partners as part of his probation in a car theft conviction. The form reads in part, "Although I realise I am potentially risking my own life, I nonetheless desire to engage in sexual relations with the abovenamed individual" [R2.1].

L1.1 Texas Statutes: Chapter 81.102
R2.1 Melbourne Star Observer: Texas Justice? 15 MAR 96
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 26 June 2003, following the US Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, consensual sex between same-sex couples became lawful [C2.8].

The same-sex sodomy law remains on the statute books in Texas, despite the June 2003 ruling in the US Supreme Court.

See: 2. Courts & Tribunals

The now unconstitutional Section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code, the "homosexual conduct" statute, which was passed in 1974, states that:

(a) person commits an offense if he engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor [L1.4].

The Texas Health & Safety Code Chapter 85.007 authorizes Texas agencies to create Education Programs for Minors ("persons younger than 18 years of age") which programs shall

"(2) state that homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense under Section 21.06, Penal Code" [L1.3]


On 17 April 2013, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted 5–0 to repeal the state's anti-gay sodomy law, a decade after the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. The bill was sent to the full Senate for a vote [L1.2], [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 June 2003, the US Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that the Texas Penal Code, Section 21.06 was unconstitutional , Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558 (2003) [C2.8].

In the 6–3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Texas law against "deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex" is an unconstitutional violation of privacy [R2.8].

The ruling reverses course from a ruling 17 years ago that states could punish homosexuals for what such laws historically called deviant sex.

Previously:

In December 2002, the US Supreme Court announced it would consider whether states can punish homosexuals for having sex. The case in effect was a test of the constitutionality of sodomy laws in 13 states. The justices reviewed the prosecution of two men under a 28-year-old Texas law making it a crime to engage in same-sex intercourse [R2.7].

On 17 July 2002, Lambda Legal filed an appeal in the US Supreme Court on consitutional grounds [R2.6]. It needed four justices to accept the case, five to decide it [R2.5].

On 17 April 2002, the nine judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused to consider an appeal, which was filed by a national gay rights group called Lambda Legal [R2.4].

On 15 March 2001, the 9-member 14th court of appeals upheld 7–2 the state's sodomy law [R2.3].

On 08 June 2000, the court of appeals ruled 2–1 that the state's anti-sodomy law unconstitutional, throwing out the criminal case against two Houston men arrested in 1998 for having sex with each other [R2.2].

In November 1998, two were charged under the state's sodomy statute for engaging in consensual sex in a private residence [R2.1].

L1.4 Texas Penal Code: Sec. 21.06. Homosexual Conduct
L1.3 Texas Health & Safety Code: Sec. 85.007. Education Programs for Minors
L1.2 State Legislature: Senate Bill 538 (Accessed 18 APR 13)
R1.1 Houston Chronicle: Texas Senate committee votes to repeal anti-gay law 17 APR 13
C2.8 US Supreme Court: Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U S 558 (2003), 26 JUN 03
R2.8 Associated Press: Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban 26 JUN 03
R2.7 Associated Press: High Court to Review Sodomy Laws 02 DEC 02
R2.6 The Advocate: Top Court May Review Texas Sodomy Law 17 JUL 02
R2.5 Houston Chronicle: Court may review Texas sodomy law 03 NOV 02
R2.4 The Advocate: Texas Sodomy Case May Go to Supreme Court 19 APR 02
Houston Chronicle: Court Upholds Sodomy Ban in Refusing to Hear Appeal 19 APR 02
R2.3 The Advocate: Texas Sodomy Law Upheld 17-19 MAR 01
R2.2 Austin American-Stateman: Appeals Court Rejects State's Sodomy Law 09 JUN 00
R2.1 Los Angeles Times: Legal Assaults Against States' Anti-Sodomy Laws Multiply 03 DEC 98
Houston Chronicle: Two Men Charged Under State's Sodomy Law 05 NOV 98
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 25 September 2015, Tarrant County Clerk Mary Louise Garcia released a statement saying that her office will accept common-law marriage affidavits from same-sex couples seeking to file such affidavits dated prior to the June 26, 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming marriage equality. This clarification should apply throughout Texas [R1.14].

On 26 June 2015, same-sex marriage became lawful nationwide, see: Federal: Marriage: Courts & Tribunals at [C2.34], [R2.33].

Previously:

Texas Statutes Family Code, Title 1. The Marriage Relationship, Subtitle A. Marriage [L1.13].

Chapter 2. The Marriage Relationship, Subchapter A. Application for Marriage Licence

Sec. 2.001. Marriage Licence. (a) A man and a woman desiring to enter into a ceremonial marriage must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk of any county of this state.

(b) license may not be issued for the marriage of persons of the same sex.

The Texas Constitution, Article 1. Bill of Rights, Section 32. Marriage [L1.12].

"MARRIAGE. (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.

(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

(Added Nov. 8, 2005)"


On 10 November 2014, Rep Rafael Anchi introduced Bill HB130 that would legalize same sex marriage in Texas. The Bill is expected to be debated in January. Companion Bill SB98 sponsored by Senators Juan Hinojusa and José R Rodriguez was filed in the Senate [R1.11].

On 14 May 2013, the Senate passed SB 1218, a Bill that would prevent people from obtaining a licence with a document that lacks photographic identification and dramatically affect transgender residents seeking a marriage licence. The Bill still needs to pass both a House panel and the full chamber by Tuesday 21 May [L1.10], [R1.9].

On 03 May 2010, a trans woman who was born male and her longtime girlfriend were legally married in San Antonio after previously being denied a marriage license in El Paso [R1.8].

In November 2009, Houston attorney Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Texas candidate for attorney general, argued that an amendment made to the state's constitution (§32(b) above) to ban gay marriages has actually made all marriages illegal [R1.7].

On 03 April 2003, the Senate committee on State Affairs approved SB 7, which would ban the state from recognizing same-sex civil unions [R1.6].

In November 2002, House Bill 38 known as the defense of marriage act would if passed ban the state from recognizing same sex marriages or civil unions. The bill has failed at least three times before [R1.5].

In May 2002, the Epstein Chapel of Temple Shalom Jewish synagogue in North Dallas carried out its first blessing of a same-sex union with Cantor Don Croll officiating [R1.4]

On 21 May 2001, legislation banning same-sex marriages or civil unions performed in other states died in the bill-scheduling House Calendars Committee, the panel's chairman said [R1.3].

On 02 April 2001, the house of representatives voted unanimously Monday to approve an amendment to a bill on marital property laws that bans recognition of same-sex marriages [R1.2].

In August 2000, Bexar County reportedly was to issue a marriage license to two Houston women because one of the women is a transsexual and is considered a man under Texas law [R1.1].

See also: 3. Courts & Tribunals

2.

Cities & Towns

On 27 January 2015, the City of Forth Worth announced that from 01 February 2015, a 75% survivor benefit will be available to certain eligible same-sex spouses married at least one year prior to the employee's retirement without their taking a reduction in his or her pension benefit and those currently on a reduced benefi will have their benefit restored without back pay upon receipt of the appropriate documentation [R2.2].

On 20 November 2013, Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced that same-sex couples who have legally wed in a state that recognizes such marriages and work for the city of Houston will be eligible for the same health care and life insurance benefits as straight couples [R2.1]. However, see 3. Courts & Tribunals below at [R3.36], [R3.26].

The 2001 amendment to the city charter allows benefits to be provided to "legal spouses" of employees and the city legal department believes that such legally married same sex couples meet the definition [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 15 September 2017, the City of Houston reportedly filed a petition in the US Supreme Court seeking a review of the 30 June decision by the Texas Supreme Court in which it ruled that there's still room for state courts to explore ''the reach and ramifications'' of marriage-related issues (benefits) that resulted from the legalization of same-sex marriage [C3.62], [R3.61].

On 30 June 2017, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples are not necessarily entitled to government-dispensed spousal benefits, finding that the US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges did not resolve issues such as payments of municipal employees' spousal benefits. The case was remanded to the trial court [C3.60], [R3.59].

On 20 January 2017, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in a same-sex marriage case in which two Houston plaintiffs (Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks) have asked the court to reconsider the legality of "taxpayer-funded benefits" the city is providing to same-sex spouses [R3.58].

On 02 September 2016, the State Supreme Court refused to review a lower court ruling holding that cities may not deprive married same-sex couples the benefits it provides to opposite-sex couples. Judge John P Devine dissented, finding a distinction between marriage as a fundamental right and spousal benefits that are not [C3.57], [R3.56].

On 05 April 2016, in light of the US Supreme Court's landmark June ruling that same-sex marriage is protected by the US Constitution, the state Supreme Court dismissed as moot Attorney-General Ken Paxton's request [In Re: State of Texas 15-0139] to void the 19 February 2015 marriage of Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant and lifting the stay order [C3.55], [C3.54], [R3.53].

On 05 October 2015, in what is believed to be the first judicially recognized common-law same-sex marriage, Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman signed a judgment acknowledging the eight-year relationship between Sonemaly Phrasavath and her deceased partner Stella Powell in a probate dispute over Powell's estate [R3.52].

On 20 August 2015, after a five-minute hearing, state District Judge William Harris granted Brooke Powell and Cori Jo Long a divorce following the 13 August ruling of the Second District of Texas Court of Appeals that reversed and remanded his 19 September 2014 trial court decision dismissising their application for want of jurisdiction [C3.51], [R3.50].

On 11 August 2015, US District Court Judge Orlando L. Garcia ordered the Governor, Attorney General and the Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services to submit an advisory no later than 24 August 2015 (1) notifying the Court they have created, issued, and implemented policy guidelines recognizing same-sex marriage in death and birth certificates issued in the State of Texas, and (2) assuring the Court that the Department of State Health Services has granted all pending applications for death and birth certificates involving same-sex couples, assuming the applications are otherwise complete and qualify for approval [C3.49], [R3.48].

On 05 August 2015, US District Court Judge Orlando L Garcia ordered the interim Commissioner of the Department of State Health Services to “immediately issue an amended death certificate for James H Stone-Hoskins to state that John Allen Stone-Hoskins is the surviving spouse of James and in doing so, fully recognize their out-of-state marriage” [C3.47], [R3.46].

On 31 July 2015, it was reported that more than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage, Texas is not fully recognizing the landmark ruling and refuses to issue death certificates that recognize same-sex marriages. In August 2014, James Stone and John Stone-Hoskins exchanged vows in New Mexico. James took his own life mid-January after a diagnosis with a genetic autoimmune disease called Sjögren's syndrome. The death certificate lists James as single and refers to John as "significant other," meaning he is not entitled to his spouse's estate [R3.45].

On 13 July 2015, it was reported that Denton County Judge James DePiazza now requires couples seeking his services in marriage to sign a form acknowledging he does not support same-sex marriage. Katherine Franke, director of private rights at Colombia University's law school, has expressed the opinion that the document may be found to be discriminatory [R3.44].

On 29 June 2015, US District Judge Mike Herrera in the 383rd District Court granted Jennifer Gasca and Stephanie Michelle Clifford (formerly Gasca) a divorce following the US Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision. The parties who were married in New Hampshire, filed for divorce 31 October 2012 and met the six-month residency requirement to petition for a divorce [R3.43].

On 19 June 2015, the Texas Supreme Court upheld 5-3 a divorce granted to Travis County same-sex couple Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly in 2009, ruling the state had no standing to intervene in the case [C3.42], [R3.41].

On 19 February 2015, the Supreme Court of Texas issued an Order staying the Travis County cases 15-1035 and 15-0139 [C3.40].

On 19 February 2015, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the state Supreme Court to void a marriage license issued to Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant who became the first same-sex couple to legally wed in the state [R3.39].

On 19 February 2015, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant were issued a marriage license by Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir under direction from state District Judge David Wahlberg under special circumstances because Goodfriend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer [R3.38].

On 12 December 2014, District Judge Orlando Garcia declined to lift the stay on his 26 February 2014 injunction in the Cleopatra De Leon & Ors. v. Rick Perry & Ors same-sex marriage case [R3.37], [C3.30].

On 05 November 2014, State District Judge Lisa Millard granted a temporary injunction ordering the city of Houston to stop offering health and life insurance benefits to the same-sex spouses of married employees [R3.36].

On 27 October 2014, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals announced that oral arguments in the appeals of same-sex marriage rulings from Texas and Louisiana have been scheduled for the week of 05 January 2015 [R3.35].

On 07 October 2014, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to expedite oral arguments in the Cleopatra DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman same-sex marriage case, likely before the end of the year [R3.34].

On 24 April 2014, the 4th Circuit Court granted an emergency stay requested by Attorney-General Greg Abbott [C3.33], in the A.L.F.L. v. K.L.L. case [R3.31].

On 22 April 2014, Judge Barbara Nellermoe in the 45th District Court ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, ”paving the way for a San Antonio couple's divorce proceedings and subsequent child custody battle to continue” [C3.32], [R3.31].

On 26 February 2014, US District Judge Orlando Garcia issued a preliminary injunction striking down the state's marriage equality ban as unconstitutional, although he stayed his decision pending appeal. Judge Garcia also explicitly ruled that Texas's refusal to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages also lacks rational basis [C3.30], [R3.29].

On 13 February 2014, the Thirteenth District Court of Appeals ruled in “In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Deceased” that Texas must recognise the marriages of trans people and remanded the case for further proceedings concerning the death benefits claim [C3.28], [R3.27].

On 17 December 2013, District Judge Lisa Millard signed a temporary restraining order prohibiting the city of Houston from offering partner benefits to same-sex couples. A hearing is set for Jan. 6 [R3.26]. The order was lifted in January after the city moved the case to federal court [R3.36].

On 11 December 2013, it was expected that argument in the Cleopatra de Leon et. al. v. Rick Perry, et. al. case would be heard on 12 February 2014 [R3.25].

On 22 November 2013, gay couple Mark Pharris and Vic Holmes of Plano, and lesbian couple Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman of Austin filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas asking a federal judge in San Antonio to immediately block Texas from enforcing its bans on gay marriage [C3.24], [R3.23].

On 28 October 2013, Mark Pharris and Vic Holmes and Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman filed an equal protection suit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage, and seeking a court order barring Texas officials from enforcing it [C3.22], [R3.21].

On 23 August 2013, the Texas Supreme Court set 05 November for oral arguments in State of Texas v. Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly and In the Matter of the Marriage of J.B. and H.B. as to whether the two same-sex couples may be divorced under Texas law [C3.20], [C3.19], [R3.18].

In late November 2011, District Court Judge Lori Chrisman Hockett refused to nullify the marriage of James Lee Scott and Rebecca Louise Robertson. Robertson had sought the nullification on the basis that Scott was born biologically female and Texas does not recognize same-sex marriage. She instead ruled that their breakup should proceed as a divorce – which will allow Scott, who is physically disabled from scoliosis, a chance at a fair share of the couple’s property [C3.17], [R3.16].

On 14 November 2011, Nikki Araguz, the transgender widow of a Texas firefighter, lodged an appeal against Wharton County District Judge Randy Clapp's decision that found their marriage invalid and denied her his death benefits [R3.15].

On 26 May 2011, 329th Wharton County District Judge Randy Clapp signed the order voiding the marriage between Thomas Araguz and Nikke Araguz [C3.14], [R3.13].

On 24 May 2011, 329th Wharton County District Judge Randy Clapp issued a draft order finding that "any marriage between Thomas Araguz and [male to female transgender] Nikki Araguz was void as a matter of law" and Thomas "was not married at the time of his death" [R3.12].

On 07 January 2011, Justice Diane Henson in the appellate court, joined by Justices Woodie Jones and David Puryear, ruled that Attorney General Greg Abbott may not intervene in a Travis County same-sex divorce case, a finding that lets stand for now the divorce of Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly who were married out of state but does not affect Texas' ban on gay marriage [C3.11], [R3.10].

In December 2010, a gay couple in Texas that were married via Skype last month by a DC celebrant to circumvent Texas same-sex marriage laws were notified in a letter from the DC Superior Court that their union is invalid [R3.9].

On 31 August 2010, the 5th Texas Court of Appeals ruled that a Dallas district court judge didn't have the authority to hear a divorce case involving two Dallas men who married in Massachusetts in 2006. Gay couples legally married in other states cannot get a divorce in Texas, where same-sex marriage is banned [R3.8].

On 21 April 2010, the Attorney General's Office argued before the three-judge 5th Texas Court of Appeals panel that as same-sex marriage isn't recognized in Texas, divorce cannot be granted and such unions can only be voided and that the parties lack standing to file a divorce case because they're not married [R3.7].

In April 2010, Texas attorney general Greg Abbott said he would appeal a second gay divorce granted to Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly in order to protect heterosexual marriage in the state [R3.6].

In March 2010, District Judge Scott Jenkins in Austin upheld a divorce granted to Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly who married in Massachusetts in 2004 [R3.5].

In February 2010, the attorney general Greg Abbott intervened in a same-sex divorce case, saying that two women married in Massachusetts cannot divorce in Texas because state law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman [R3.4].

On 01 October 2009, Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan ruled that two men married in Massachusetts could be divorced, notwithstanding a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Callahan declared that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violated equal protection under the law [R3.3].

On 31 March 2003, District Judge Tom Mulvaney dismissed a divorce request filed by two men who obtained a civil union in Vermont last year and were attempting to have it dissolved in Texas after Russell Smith, 36, requested his petition for dissolution be discharged.

On 26 March 2003, a general petition filed in the district court by Attorney General Greg Abbott argued that because Texas doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, the recent same-sex divorce of Beaumont men John Anthony and Russell Smith never should have happened [R3.2].

On 03 March 2003, Judge Tom Mulvaney signed a divorce decree Monday for Russell Smith, 26, and John Anthony, 34, a Beaumont couple granted a license of civil union in Vermont in February 2002 [R3.1].

On 27 October 1999, the Texas Court of Appeals concluded that a male-to-female transsexual "as a matter of law, Christie Littleton is a male. As a male, Christie cannot be married to another male. Her marriage to Jonathon was invalid, and she cannot bring a cause of action as his surviving spouse" [C3.1].

R1.14 DallasVoice: Tarrant County Clerk says her office will accept common-law marriage affidavit 25 SEP 15
L1.13 Texas Code: Section 2.001 (Accessed 14 JUN 09)
L1.12 The Texas Constitution: Article 1. Bill of Rights, Section 32 Marriage (Accessed 05 OCT 09)
R1.11 Bill search: Texas Legislature Online
L1.10 Bill: SB 1218 Relating to the proof of an applicant's identity and age required for the issuance of a marriage license 06 MAR 13
R1.9 PinkNews: Anti-trans marriage law gains Senate approval 16 MAY 13
R1.8 The Advocate: Trans Woman Weds Girlfriend in Texas 05 MAY 10
R1.7 The Advocate: Is Anyone in Texas Actually Married? 19 NOV 09
R1.6 Associated Press: Senate Committee Approves Ban on Same-sex Marriage 03 APR 03
R1.5 KXAN-TV: Same Sex Marriage Bill Battle Begins 14 NOV 02
R1.4 Dallas Morning News: Same-Sex Union is First For Temple 22 JUN 02
R1.3 Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Legislative Briefs - Same-Sex Marriage Ban Derailed 22 MAY 01
R1.2 The Advocate: Anti-Gay-Marriage Amendment Passes Texas House 05 APR 00
R1.1 Advocate: Same-sex Couple to Get Texas Marriage License 31 AUG 00
2. Cities & Towns
R2.2 TheRoundup: City's survival benefits will soon apply to all legally married couples 27 JAN 15
R2.1 CultureMapHouston: Parker extends same-sex spousal benefits to city workers, but it doesn't apply to her 20 NOV 13
3. Courts & Tribunals
C3.62 Petition for Writ of Certiorari: Mayor Sylvester Turner and City of Houston v. Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks PDF 198.91kb 15 SEP 17
R3.61 TheTexasTribune: Houston looks to Supreme Court to resolve same-sex marriage benefits fight
C3.60 Opinion: Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks v. Mayor Sylvester Turner and City of Houston No. 15-0688 PDF 158.17kb 30 JUN 17
R3.59 ReutersUS: Top Texas court sides against same-sex couple marriage benefits 30 JUN 17
R3.58 TheAustinChronicle: State Supreme Court Reconsiders Same-Sex Benefits 27 JAN 17
C3.57 Dissenting Opinion: Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks v. Mayor Sylvester Turner & Ors No. 15-0688 PDF 89.83kb 02 SEP 16
R3.56 Slate: Texas Supreme Court Justice: States Can Deny Same-Sex Spousal Benefits to ''Encourage Procreation'' 02 SEP 16
C3.55 Opinion (Justice JV Brown): In Re: State of Texas No. 15-0139 PDF 76.01kb 15 APR 16
C3.54 Opinion (Justice DR Willett): In Re: State of Texas No. 15-0139 PDF 237.26kb 15 APR 16
R3.53 TheTexasTribuns: Court Tosses Challenge to Couple's Same-Sex Marriage License 15 APR 16
R3.52 Star-Telegram: Judge recognizes 1st common-law same-sex marriage in Texas 06 OCT 15
C3.51 Second District of Texas Court of Appeals Memorandum Opinion and Order: Brooke Powell v. Cori Jo Long No. 02-14-00397-CV PDF 35.12kb, 13 AUG 15
R3.50 WFAA.com: Judge grants Tarrant County's first gay divorce 20 AUG 15
C3.49 Order: Cleopatra De Leon et al. v. Greg Abbott et al. No. SA-13-CA-00982-OLG PDF 34.04kb 11 AUG 15
R3.48 TheTexasTribune: Judge Gives Texas Deadline on Same-Sex Marriage Policies 12 AUG 15
C3.47 Order: Cleopatra De Leon, Nicole Dimetman, Victor Holems and Mark Phariss v. Greg Abbott, Ken Paxton and Kirk Cole SA-13-CA-00982-OLG PDF 572.87kb 05 AUG 15
R3.46 ReutersUS: Judge orders Texas to recognize spouse on same-sex death certificate 05 AUG 15
R3.45 KHOU.com: Texas refuses to issue same-sex couples death certificates 31 JUL 15
R3.44 HoustonChronicle: Texas judge asks same sex-couples to sign form acknowledging he disapproves of same-sex marriage 13 JUL 15
R3.43 ElPasoTimes: Judge grants first same-sex divorce in El Paso 07 JUL 15
C3.42 Opinion: State of Texas v. Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly No. 11-0114 PDF 119.49kb, 19 JUN 15
R3.41 HoustonChronicl: Texas Supreme Court upholds same-sex divorce 19 JUN 15
C3.40 Order: Miscellaneous Nos. 15-0139, 15-0135 PDF 16.16kb, 19 FEB 15
R3.39 TheTexasTribune: Paxton Asks Court to Void Marriage License of Gay Couple 20 FEB 15
C3.38 Petition and Order: Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant v. Dana DeBeauvoir PDF 1.56MB 19 FEB 15
R3.37 GayStarNews: US judge places hold on same-sex marriages in Texas 13 DEC 14
R3.36 HoustonChronicle: Judge blocks same-sex city benefits, for now 05 NOV 14
R3.35 GayStarNews: US Court of Appeals for Fifth Circuit sets January date for Texas and Louisiana gay marriage cases 27 OCT 14
R3.34 Houston Chronicle: Federal court agrees to fast-track Texas gay marriage case 07 OCT 14
C3.33 Stay Order: In Re State of Texas No. 04-14-00282-CV PDF 82.05kb, 24 APR 14
C3.32 Order: A.L.F.L. v. K.L.L. No. 2014-CI-02421 PDF 216.64kb, 22 APR 14
R3.31 LGBTQ Nation: 24 APR 14
C3.30 Order: Cleopatra De Leon & Ors. v. Rick Perry & Ors No. SA-13-CA-00982-OLG PDF 474.60kb, 26 FEB 14
R3.29 EqualityOnTrial: Federal judge invalidates Texas’s marriage equality ban 26 FEB 14
C3.28 Opinion: In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Deceased No. 13-11-00490-CV PDF 412.49kb, 13 FEB 14
R3.27 PinkNews: Court orders Texas to recognise marriages of trans people 13 FEB 14
R3.26 dallasVOICE: Republican Houston judge blocks city’s partner benefits until Jan. hearing 18 DEC 13
R3.25 TexasPublicRadio: San Antonio Judge Sets A Date For Motion To Halt Texas’ Same-Sex Marriage Ban 11 DEC 13
C3.24 Motion: Cleopatra de Leon et. al. v. Rick Perry, et. al. No. 5:13-cv-982-OLG PDF 202.44kb, 22 NOV 13
R3.23 LoneStarQ: 23 NOV 13
C3.22 Complaint: Cleopatra de Leon et. al. v. Rick Perry, et. al. No. 5:13-cv-982-OLG PDF 700.78kb, 28 OCT 13
R3.21 MySanAntonio: Two couples in Texas sue to lift ban on gay marriage 28 OCT 13
C3.20 Petition for Review: State of Texas v. Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly No. 11-0114, PDF 1.77MB, 21 MAR 11
C3.19 Petition for Review: In the Matter of the Marriage of J.B. and H.B. No. 11-0024 PDF 804.06kb, 17 FEB 11
R3.18 timesleader: Texas high court to consider same-sex divorce 24 AUG 13
C3.17 In the District Court 255th Judicial District of Dallas County: Rebecca Louise Robertson v. James Lee Scott Case No. DF-10-16083
R3.16 The Advocate: Judge Rules Texas Transgender Man's Marriage Valid 02 DEC 11
R3.15 The Advocate: Texas Transgender Widow Appeals Benefits Decision 15 NOV 11
C3.14 329th District Court: Order Granting Administrator's and Intervenor's Motions for Summary Judgment PDF 109.96kb, 26 MAY 11
R3.13 Houston Chronicle: Texas judge voids transgender widow's marriage 31 MAY 11
R3.12 Jezebel: Judge Decides Transgender Widow's Marriage Was Illegal 26 MAY 11
C3.11 Texas Court of Appeals, 3rd District: State of Texas v. Angelique S. Naylor and Sabina Daly No. 03-10-00237-CV, 07 JAN 11
R3.10 The Advocate: Travis County gay divorce stands under appellate ruling 07 JAN 11
R3.9 PinkPaper: Skype gay marriage deemed invalid by courts 05 DEC 10
R3.8 The Washington Post: Court says gay couples can't divorce in Texas 31 AUG 10
R3.7 365Gay.com: Texas court hears state’s appeal in gay divorce 22 APR 10
R3.6 PinkNews.co.uk: Texas attorney general to appeal second gay divorce 20 APR 10
R3.5 The Advocate: "Gay" Divorce in Texas Upheld 01 APR 10
R3.4 The Advocate: Texas AG Intervenes in Gay Divorce 16 FEB 10
R3.3 The Advocate: Texas Judge OK's Gay Divorce 01 OCT 09
R3.2 Beaumont Enterprise: No Gay Marriage, No Gay Divorce, AG says 27 MAR 03
R3.1 Associated Press: Texas Judge Grants Same-Sex Divorce 07 MAR 03
C3.1 Press for Change: Littleton v. Prange, 9 S.W. 3d 223 (1999)
Military Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

State

On 26 November 2013, the Texas Military Forces announced that Texas National Guard and the state's other military forces will begin issuing benefits to the same-gender spouses of guard members after the Department of Defense approved a procedure to do so. Federal personnel will now handle the paperwork, which removes the conflict with state law banning recognition of same-sex marriages [D1.2], [R1.1].

D1.2 Media Advisory: Update to Benefit Processes for Service Members and Retirees PDF 92.23kb, 26 NOV 13
R1.1 TheAdvocate: Texas National Guard Amends Policy For Same-Sex Couples 27 NOV 13
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In Texas, gay couples are able to adopt children jointly [R1.7].

  • A suit terminating the biological parent's rights must first be instituted before a suit for adoption can take place.
  • An adoption case may be instituted as a one-step procedure by joining the termination and adoption causes of action, or by a two-step procedure in which the separate adoption suit follows a termination suit.
  • As a general rule, it is advisable to keep the procedures for termination and adoption separate.
  • Texas judges will not grant a termination of parental rights until there is a parent who is willing to adopt the child. Texas Family Code, Chapter 162 [L1.7]

Single persons and same-sex couples can foster children however if the the question of an applicant's sexuality is raised, the court may refuse to make an order [R1.6].


On 15 June 2017, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3859 into law with effect from September [R1.5].

On 22 May 2017, Senate approved 21-10 House Bill 3859, (the ''Freedom to Serve Children Act'') that allows publicly funded foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with non-Christian, unmarried or gay prospective parents because of religious objections. On 26 May 2017, the Bill was sent to the Governor [R1.4].

In December 2002, House Bill 194, from Rep. Robert Talton, R-Pasadena, if passed, would require that the Protective and Regulatory Service, which approves foster parents, ask applicants if they are homosexual. If they answer yes, they would be disqualified. If no, a "reasonable investigation" will be conducted to ensure they are, indeed, heterosexual [R1.3].

In December 1998, Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, a West Texas legislator, sponsored a bill that would ban gays and lesbians from becoming foster parents or adopting children in state custody [R1.2].

In 1998, a Texas social worker was reprimanded and demoted for removing a foster child from the home of a lesbian couple seeking to adopt him [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 17 June 2014, it was reported that a judge denied the petition to adopt of Jason Hannah, 36, and Joe Riggs, 33, fathers of twins Lucas and Ethan, who were born of the same surrogate mother . Each biologically fathered one of the twins. The couple were married in Washington DC last year and sought to add each of their names to their biological sons' birth certificates and to cross-adopt, or second-parent adopt [R2.2].

On 03 May 1999, the Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute, which focuses on family and constitutional issues, filed the motion on behalf of Rebecca Bledsoe, a Child Protective Services supervisor who said she was demoted after removing a 3-year-old boy from a lesbian couple's home in Dallas two years ago [R2.1].

L1.7 Texas Family Code: Chapter 162. Adoption
R1.6 Contributor: Helene G. Parker
R1.5 GayStarNews: This new law in Texas allows child welfare agencies to deny care to LGBTI children 19 JUN 17
R1.4 TheWashingtonPost: Texas Senate approves 'religious refusal' adoption measure 22 MAY 17
R1.3 The Daily Texan: Bill Targets Gay Foster Parents 04 DEC 02
R1.2 Houston Chronicle: Bill Would Ban Gays From Adopting Children 10 DEC 98
R1.1 Scripps Howard News Service: Child Adoptions by Homosexuals Ignite Legislative Fights 24 FEB 99
R2.2 LGBTQ Nation: Judge denies Texas dads parental rights to biological twin sons 17 JUN 14
R2.1 San Antonio Express-News: Group Asks Judge to Halt Gay, Lesbian Adoptions 04 MAY 99
Privacy Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
See also: [HOMOSEXUALITY]
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 21 February 2014, the (insurer for) Kilgore Independent School District paid Skye Wyatt $77,500 to settle her lawsuit (alleging violation of her constitutional right to privacy). The Courts of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed 2-1 the favorable judgment of US Magistrate Judge John D Love in the District Court on 30 November 2011 [R1.1].

R1.1 WashingtonBlade: Lawsuit against Texas school district settled 26 FEB 14
Violence: Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 01 September 2017, David's Law, or Senate Bill 179, came into effect and requires an anti-cyberbullying policy in school districts and establishes a procedure for reporting and investigation into bullying, including cyber bullying [R1.4].

On 17 June 2011, Governor Perry signed anti-bullying bill HB 1942 (effective immediately) which doesn't include specific protections for LGBT youth but for the first time requires school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies and adds bullying by electronic means to the state's definition [R1.3]. Section 9 provides that the Act's provisions apply beginning with the 2012-2013 school year on 01 September 2012.

As at December 2010, current Texas law mandates that schools include language prohibiting bullying in student codes of conduct, however there is little on the books saying how schools should go about doing that and even less to give a clear definition of what constitutes bullying [R1.2].


Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, submission to which is made a term or condition of a person's exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, either explicitly or implicitly constitutes "sexual harassment" [R1.1].

Sexual harassment in employment situations, either by someone of the opposite sex or of the same sex, is prohibited in Texas.

It is a class A misdemeanor for a public official to subject another individual to sexual harassment.


In Texas, there is no anti-vilification legislation [R1.1].

R1.4 TheBatallion: New laws, including David's Law, take effect 31 AUG 17
R1.3 Dallas Voice: Governor Perry signs anti-bullying bill 18 JUN 11
R1.2 The Advocate: Texas to Define Bullying in Schools 07 DEC 10
R1.1 Contributor: Helene G. Parker
R1.1 Contributor: Helene G. Parker
Wrongful Death Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Texas Statutes, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Title 4. Liability in Tort, Chapter 71. Wrongful Death [L1.1] provides that —

Sec. 71.004. Benefitting from and bringing action. (a) An action to recover damages as provided by this subchapter is for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 May 2011, Judge Randy Clapp ruled that the surviving transgender widow of a firefighter killed in the line of duty is not entitled to death benefits because she was born male [C2.2], [R2.1].

L1.1 Texas Statutes: Chapter 71. Wrongful Death PDF 55.34kb
C2.2 In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III, No. 44,575 (329th Dist. Ct., Wharton Co., Texas)
R2.1 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: Widow not entitled to death benefits because she was born male PDF 433.08kb, MAY 11 at page 111

GayLawNet®™ "Exclusive" Sponsorship of this page IS available