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Richard Orsinger

Richard Orsinger Provides Expansive Look at Post-Obergefell Landscape

The question of marriage equality was answered officially with the U.S. Supreme Court's June 26, 2015, landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling which guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry under the 14th Amendment. However, there are many questions still to be answered about how newly recognized same-sex marriages will mesh with other Family Law issues, according to Richard Orsinger, founder and head of the San Antonio office of Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, LLP.

Richard explores these issues in A New Day: Same-Sex Marriages; Emerging Gender Identity Issues, an in-depth overview of the post-Obergefell legal landscape which appears in the Fall 2015 edition of In Chambers, the official publication of the Texas Center for the Judiciary.

According to Richard: "The legal acceptance of same-sex marriage in America has developed in just over two decades, with state court decisions, statutory enactments, amendments to state constitutions, lower federal court decisions, and finally a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. Two decades is a long time measured by the lives of individuals, but a remarkably short period of time considering that marriage equality had no legal recognition 20 years ago."

In the article, he notes that despite initial resistance by some country clerks to issues these marriage licenses, all now do. However, among the questions that remain is whether state judges are required to perform all marriages. "Texas has no gay anti-discrimination law, so the question of whether judges are obligated to conduct same-sex marriages is more a matter of judicial ethics than law," he writes, adding that there is no indication that judges would be included under Texas' Pastor Protection Act which provides those with "a sincerely held religious belief" the ability to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

The article also addresses civil unions, polygamous, temporary, close family and under age marriages, as well as gender identity, issues not covered under Obergefell.

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