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Jun 26, 2013 5:23 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

Same Sex Marriage Decision Means Less in Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI - While same sex couples in state's like California celebrate the Supreme Court's decision, same sex couples in Texas have a much larger battle to fight.

That's because it's still up to each state to decide whether or not it will allow same sex marriage, and Texas does not.

And that means receiving federal benefits becomes a complicated issue, because while the ruling grants benefits to couples in states that allow same sex marriage, it doesn't necessarily grant benefits to those in states that don't.

"They ruled as narrowly as they could," says Andy Wilcox, a gay member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Corpus Christi.

Mary Jo Smith is also a member.

She, Wilcox, and their partners still can't receive social security survivor benefits, because the State doesn't allow same sex marriage.

In other words, they feel the ruling has left the door open for more legal battles.

"As soon as someone who is married in a state where it is legal moves to a state where it is not, the question will come up, and if the Federal Government says we have to recognize what that state says, then that will be a lawsuit," Wilcox says.

But even though the ruling means much less for couples in Texas, Wilcox and Smith are still glad to see it.

"Any benefits they can get for people somewhere is better than nothing," Smith says, "doesn't do us a lot of good, but hopefully, helps a lot of other people."

"It just takes time. I don't know if I'll ever see it in Texas, but it'll happen," she added.CORPUS CHRISTI - While same sex couples in state's like California celebrate the Supreme Court's decision, same sex couples in Texas have a much larger battle to fight.

That's because it's still up to each state to decide whether or not it will allow same sex marriage, and Texas does not.

And that means receiving federal benefits becomes a complicated issue, because while the ruling grants benefits to couples in states that allow same sex marriage, it doesn't necessarily grant benefits to those in states that don't.

"They ruled as narrowly as they could," says Andy Wilcox, a gay member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Corpus Christi.

Mary Jo Smith is also a member.

She, Wilcox, and their partners still can't receive social security survivor benefits, because the State doesn't allow same sex marriage.

In other words, they feel the ruling has left the door open for more legal battles.

"As soon as someone who is married in a state where it is legal moves to a state where it is not, the question will come up, and if the Federal Government says we have to recognize what that state says, then that will be a lawsuit," Wilcox says.

But even though the ruling means much less for couples in Texas, Wilcox and Smith are still glad to see it.

"Any benefits they can get for people somewhere is better than nothing," Smith says, "doesn't do us a lot of good, but hopefully, helps a lot of other people."

"It just takes time. I don't know if I'll ever see it in Texas, but it'll happen," she added.

During the legislative session that just ended in Austin, state senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa had sponsored legislation that would have recognized same sex unions in Texas.

The bill died, but the senator may re-introduce it in the next session.

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