AUSTIN, Texas — A judge has become the first to officially recognize a common-law same-sex marriage in Texas.
Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman has signed a judgment acknowledging that the eight-year relationship between Stella Powell and Sonemaly Phrasavath (soh-NEH'-mah-lee phrah-sah-VAHTH') met the legal requirements of marriage without a license. The Austin American-Statesman (http://atxne.ws/1LgLYCx) reported that Herman signed the ruling Monday in Austin but distributed it on Tuesday.
The ruling ended Phrasavath's effort to have official recognition of her relationship with Powell, who died last year. Powell's siblings had asserted in a probate suit that Powell died single and couldn't marry another woman under Texas law.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had opposed the finding, citing that Powell died before the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the right of same-sex partners to marry.