In an order handed down today, Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman declared Texas's ban on same-sex marriages "unconstitutional."
The restriction of marriage to the "union of a man and a woman" violates the 14th amendment by excluding same-sex couples, the order says.
Despite the ruling, the County Clerk's office did not begin issuing marriage licenses today to same-sex couples. County Clerk Elections Coordinator Ginny Ballard says that the County Attorney's office is examining Judge Herman's order alongside ongoing federal litigation on marriage equality before it takes action.
County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir commended the judge's order, calling it a "great step toward marriage equality."
The judge's ruling came in response to an estate dispute in which a woman is seeking common law marriage status for her and her now-deceased partner.