The state of Texas does not recognize marriage between two people of the same sex, even if the marriage was performed legally outside of the Lone Star state. However, not every U.S. state has these same rules.
Associated Press reports that the state of Washington now recognizes out-of-state same-sex marriages, thanks to a new bill that was signed by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire. The governor described the new law as a "technical correction" because the state had previously recognized only domestic partnerships and civil unions. Now, people in same-sex marriages can receive the same benefits as well.
Critics of the law say that this law brings Washington one step closer to legalizing gay marriage, which conservative lawmakers say will break down families. Yet to no surprise, activists in favor of marriage equality are now thrilled with this step toward the legalization of same-sex marriages.
Texas has gone as far as to have a constitutional ban on gay marriage, which was approved by voters in 2005. In addition, the state does not recognize civil unions, domestic partnerships, or “any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”
It may not be surprising that Texas isn’t considered the most-gay friendly state, but in Houston there are many activists and organizations hoping to change state marriage laws. Houston’s state representative Garnet Coleman has even filed to repeal Texas’ constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. He has filed for the resolution to repeal the same-sex marriage ban every year since the constitutional amendment was placed on the 2005 ballot.