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County clerk issues first legal same-sex marriage license in Texas

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A Texas county issued a marriage license to a same-sex couple on Thursday, the first legal certification for a gay couple in the state since its voters about a decade ago approved a measure defining marriage as only being between a man and a woman.

A Travis County clerk said the marriage license was given to just one couple, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, after a court order earlier in the day and the county, home to the state capital Austin, is not planning to issue more licenses to same-sex couples.

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“The court order only applies to this one couple,” a clerk said.

Legal experts said there was at least one case of a marriage between a same-sex couple in the early 1970s and none since the voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage went into effect.

A U.S. district judge in Texas last year ruled the state’s bans on gay marriage unconstitutional because it denied the couples equal protection under the law. Enforcement of the decision is hold pending an appeal.

Travis County District Judge David Wahlberg ruled Goodfriend and Bryant must be granted a marriage license because not doing so violates “their rights under the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

Goodfriend requested an expedited issuance because she has been in poor health due to ovarian cancer. The couple have been together for about 30 years and have two daughters, aged 17 and 12, who joined them at the county clerk’s office.

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A rabbi married the couple at a county office.

“We are grateful to have had this opportunity to crack the door open in Texas. We hope it will swing open for everyone very soon,” Bryant told a news conference.

A day before the decision, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he would ask the courts to prevent same-sex marriages.

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“Texas law is clear on the definition of marriage and I will fight to protect this sacred institution and uphold the will of Texans, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment defining the union as between one man and one woman,” Paxton said.

Goodfriend said: “We can’t control what the AG’s office wants to do. If they want to come in and try to undo this they will, but we have a valid marriage license, but I don’t think they can.”

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(Additional reporting by Jim Forsyth in San Antonio; Editing by Bill Trott and Lisa Lambert)


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BUSTED: Cops fired for framing Stormy Daniels reportedly arrested on federal corruption charges

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On Tuesday, the Scioto Valley Guardian reported that two former Columbus police officers for the vice unit have been arrested on a number of federal charges.

Ex-Officers Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster are the same officers who allegedly conspired to frame porn star Stormy Daniels, who became a national name after suing to get out of a nondisclosure agreement negotiated by President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen to bury the story of Trump's sexual affair with her.

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Authorities searching for spring breakers who flew from Cabo on private plane with 28 COVID-19 victims

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Texas authorities are on the lookout for a group of spring breakers who returned from Cabo San Lucas testing positive for the coronavirus.

According to Alyssa Goard at KXAN News, public health officials announced Tuesday that about a week and a half ago, about 70 students in their 20's flew back to the United States on a chartered plane while others used commercial flights. There are 28 youth from the trip who have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Austin Public Health and UT Health Austin and University Health Services have made contact with every spring breaker onboard the plane using flight manifest from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 28 confirmed cases are self-isolating at this time. Others are under quarantine while being monitored and tested. The Department of State Health Services has been notified.

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Trump’s schedule is empty because he’s spending his days chatting with titans of industry, world leaders, and celebrities

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President Donald Trump isn't jetting off aboard Air Force One every few days to preside over MAGA and KAG campaign rallies anymore, now that his pandemic is keeping much of the nation – including the president – at home. World leaders have stopped calling – at least in person – so his televised Oval Office diatribes have come to an end, at least temporarily.

Trump's calendar has been looking pretty empty these days (not a dramatic change from pre-pandemic days.)

Here's Trump's public schedule for tomorrow. (Public schedules don't include all of a president's activities.) pic.twitter.com/dst1Nybqbg

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