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Does Texas Allow Transgender Marriages?

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There's much debate among Texas family law attorneys on whether the state should have issued a marriage license to a transgender woman who wanted to marry her long-time girlfriend. There are state laws that clearly ban gay marriage, but what about transgender marriage?

The Austin Statesman reports that a woman named Sabrina Hill used to be a man before her sex change operation. On her New York birth certificate, she is listed as a man named Virgil. Yet on her Arizona driver's license, she is listed as a female. It raises the question of how sex should even be determined in marriage cases.

More Houston Residents Accepting Adoption For Gay Couples

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More and more people in Houston have come to support the idea of adoption for gay couples, as shown through a newly-released study. Fox News reports that the Houston Area Study conducted by Dr. Stephen Klineberg found that only 19 percent of the people in the Houston area favored adoption rights for gay couples in 1991. Now in the year 2010, the study shows that the percentage has increased to 52 percent.

"I think the main difference [in acceptance] is more and more people know somebody who is gay or lesbian," says Houston Adoption Attorney Mitchell Katine, who handles legal matters surrounding adoptions for gay couples and lesbian couples.

Many Gay Couples Now Getting Married in Mexico City

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The legislature of Mexico City passed the first law in Latin America allowing marriage between same-sex couples last month, giving gay marriages the same status as heterosexual ones in the federal district. Since the law took effect on March 4, Associated Press reports that 88 same-sex couples have so far tied the knot in Mexico's capital.

Of the newly married same-sex couples, 50 were reported to be male couples and 38 were reported to be female couples. There are also currently 37 more same-sex couples that are scheduled to be married in Mexico City between April and June of this year.

Travis County Judge Lets Gay Divorce Stand

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott made a request to intervene in Travis County's first same-sex divorce case between Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly, according to the Houston Chronicle. Yet, a Travis County judge declined to consider the case on Wednesday.

Attorney General Abbott argued that in court filings that Ms. Naylor and Ms. Daly shouldn't legally be granted a divorce because the state of Texas doesn't allow for same-sex marriage and defines marriage between one man and one woman. He also said that granting a divorce between the lesbian couple would subject Ms. Naylor and Ms. Daly to a lifetime of uncertainty. With this case, the two women were able to get married in Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal.

How Homosexuality Can Impact a Child Custody Case

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If you're in a same-sex relationship, but have a child from a previous marriage, and you're trying to keep custody of that child, then there's some things you should be aware of with child custody court cases. FindLaw states that some courts see that homosexuality in a household as having a negative effect on the child, but other courts treat homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally and will not consider the relationship to be a significant factor. In Texas, various views on homosexuality exist because Houston is seen as a liberal city in a conservative state. Texas family law attorneys can usually provide information about the specific views of the various state courts when it comes to homosexual relationships.

Travis County Offers Domestic Partnership Benefits

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The state of Texas currently has a ban on same-sex marriage, making the Lone Star state not the most friendly place to live for same-sex couples. Only five U.S states perform same-sex marriages; in addition to the District of Columbia. FindLaw reports that many states recognize domestic partnerships as an alternative to marriage, however most regions of Texas do not offer domestic partnership registry. Travis County is one of the only regions in Texas that allows for domestic partnerships.

More Cities Recognizing Gay Marriage

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Two new cities will start recognizing gay marriage this week; which could soon put pressure on the state of Texas to lift its current gay marriage ban.

Gay couples in the District of Columbia and Mexico City can finally get their marriage licenses, according to On Top Magazine. Yet even with the approval of gay marriage in these regions, there is still opposition. In Washington D.C, the U.S Congress has the final say on measures that are approved by the DC Council. Senator Bob Bennett and Representative Jason Chaffet, both from Utah, tried to introduce measures to overturn the gay marriage law, but their efforts have so far failed.

Obama Supports Domestic Partnership Benefits

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It's true that same-sex couples don't have equal rights when it comes to the law. However, president Barack Obama is now taking some basic initiatives to change that. As stated in On Top Magazine, the president's support for equal protection among gays starts with his voiced approval of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act.

On Top Magazine reports that this piece of legislation would make the unmarried partners of gay and lesbian federal employees eligible for certain benefits previously denied to them because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that prohibits the federal government from recognizing gay unions. Some of these benefits would include federal health insurance, retirement and disability benefits, medical and emergency leave, and compensation for work injuries.

Is Marriage Really Legal in Texas?

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Can couples legally marry in the state of Texas? While wedding ceremonies occur everyday, a "massive mistake" in a 22-word clause of the 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages draws questions for some about the validity of all marriages, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

The clause of question declares, "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage." But some Texas family law attorneys are arguing that a marriage ceremony is identical to marriage. So wouldn't that make all forms of marriage illegal?

Houston lawyer and former attorney general candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky certainly seems to think so. She believes that another constitutional amendment should be put in place in order to reverse the problem.