Suzanne Bryant and Sarah Goodfriend collection, 2014-2017
Suzanne Bryant and Sarah Goodfriend were the first same-sex couple to be married in the state of Texas, four months before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality.
Their opportunity for marriage arose on Feb. 17, 2015, when Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman found Texas' ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional as part of an estate case. The couple's attorney, Chuck Herring, seized on this opportunity to secure a temporary restraining order from District Judge David Wahlberg. Wahlberg ordered Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauÂvoir "to cease and desist relying on the unconstitutional Texas prohibitions against same-sex marriage as a basis for not issuing a marriage license." In making the order, Wahlberg factored in Goodfriend's medical condition, declaring that the temporary restraining order was the only remedy available to the plaintiffs.
Bryant and Goodfriend were married in Travis County on Feb. 19, 2015. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton immediately secured a temporary stay from the Texas Supreme Court to prevent future same-sex marriages in the county. The stay did not invalidate the couple's marriage, but Paxton filed again on Feb. 20, attempting to invalidate the marriage.
Texas' restrictions against same-sex marriage were struck down on June 26, 2015, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which found all bans on marriage equality to be unconstitutional.
The Suzanne Bryant and Sarah Goodfriend collection includes papers relating to the 2015 same-sex marriage of Bryant and Goodfriend, the first of its kind in Texas. The collection includes legal documents, news articles, correspondence, photographs, and a partial digital inventory. The collection retains the donor's original filing order.
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This collection is open for research.
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There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.
Suzanne Bryant and Sarah Goodfriend Collection, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Colleen Hobbs, February 2019.
Detailed Description of the Collection