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How Same-Sex Marriage Could Come to Texas, Sooner Than You Think

Both Conservatives and Progressives took to the Capitol as the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing the DOMA and Prop 8 cases in 2013.

County clerks in Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio could keep their doors open around the clock, should the state receive a ruling lifting a ban on same-sex marriages in Texas.

San Antonio-based U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia is expected to deliver a ruling that could have thousands of gay couples rushing to gain marriage licenses before a higher court could overrule.

Texas Standard speaks with John Wright, freelance journalist and publisher of Lone Star Q, about what county clerks offices could see.

"The question is – will there be any time between the lifting of the stay by the district judge in Texas, and the appeals courts re-imposing the stay," Wright says. While the verdict is expected soon – if not today – it is unclear how soon an appellate motion would be filed. This has prompted some county clerks offices to say they would keep their doors open for extended hours to meet the demand. 

Wright says that while a temporary lifting of the ban is possible, he has reservations on how the outcome may fair this evening. "I don't want to give people too much hope," Wright says. "The fact is that Attorney General [Greg] Abbott is not a dummy. He undoubtedly has a motion drafted and prepared, asking the Fifth Circuit to re-impose a stay."

If a window is created, and some same-sex couples are allowed to get married, states have historically had to stand by their decision. "Based on what's happening in the country – once you're married, once the government gives you a right, they cannot go back and take it away," he says. 

David entered radio journalism thanks to a love of storytelling, an obsession with news, and a desire to keep his hair long and play in rock bands. An inveterate political junkie with a passion for pop culture and the romance of radio, David has reported from bases in Washington, London, Los Angeles, and Boston for Monitor Radio and for NPR, and has anchored in-depth public radio documentaries from India, Brazil, and points across the United States and Europe. He is, perhaps, known most widely for his work as host of public radio's Marketplace. Fulfilling a lifelong dream of moving to Texas full-time in 2005, Brown joined the staff of KUT, launching the award-winning cultural journalism unit "Texas Music Matters."
Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.