Travis County is issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples following a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalizes gay marriage nationwide. The Travis County Clerk's Office began issuing marriage licenses to same gender couples beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Count Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said in a statement earlier today, "This is a joyous day, I am delighted for all couples who wish to be legally married in Texas."
You can get more information from the Travis County Clerk's Office here.
The licenses will be issued despite the Supreme Court saying the ruling will not take effect until the losing side gets roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration.
Many other Texas counties were holding off until receiving guidance from the state, which fought to preserve a 2005 state constitutional ban on gay marriage. Houston is among the cities where county officials are awaiting guidance from the Texas attorney general.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has remained an emphatic opponent of gay marriage, even as signs in recent months pointed to the Supreme Court striking down state bans.
Among those celebrating the Supreme Court's decision are two couples involved in a same sex marriage lawsuit currently under review by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
They held a news conference today at the LBJ Library on the UT campus.
Cleopatra Deleon, Nicole Dimetman, Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss are celebrating what seems to be the end of a lengthy legal battle for equal marriage rights.
"This truly is probably one our happiest days of our lives," said Phariss.
Though their case remains pending in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, on Friday their attorney said the Supreme Court made clear how the court must rule.
Holmes and Phariss will move forward with planning a wedding.
"Now I can marry the man that I love legally. I can tell everybody this man is the one for me. And I'm not actually sure this has ever been said. So I'll say it now, will you marry me," asked Holmes.
"Yes," said Phariss.
Holmes and Phariss have been together since 1997. They have set a wedding date for November 21st in Frisco where they live.
"My parents, if they were alive today would've celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary. The last one they celebrated was their 46th. Vic and I never dreamed that we would be able to celebrate one of those wedding anniversaries and now we can," said Phariss.
Deleon and Dimetman married in Massachusetts in 2009. That union is now recognized by the state of Texas.
"Our kids will never grow up feeling like there's an asterisk by our marriage certificate. We are married. Texas has to accept that," said DeLeon.
While they may have the right to marry, they understand the opposition remains. And just as some may continue to fight this ruling, they will too.
"Yes, I agree that it's worth fighting for. Yes, I agree also that it's worth having and now that I have it, I'm not giving it up, or him," said Holmes.
The Supreme Court has 25 days to consider a re-hearing.
Once that time has passed, the court of appeals will take up the same sex marriage issue on advisement but there is no timeline for that.
As of now, the case remains pending.