Wait a Minute... You're right - Texas law doesn't not recognize them... BUT....
Same Sex couples have the right to document their relationships giving them similar protection under the law that heterosexual couples enjoy automatically under the law. Most same sex couples don’t realize the importance of the need of same sex domestic partnership documents until it is too late. One of the most common scenarios is when a partner/spouse in a relationship becomes ill or injured, and can’t make medical decisions for themselves. In many instances, family members of the injured or ill partner, who may or may not know about a relationship or have not accepted the fact that their love one is gay, step in and make life altering decisions, many times contrary to the injured/ill partner’s wishes. For heterosexual couples, the law automatically gives the spouse the authority to make life decisions, thereby eliminating the additional time and cost associated with executing these types of agreements.
2005 Texas Marriage Amendment
On November 8, 2005 Texas voters passed the "Marriage Amendment" to the Texas Consitutiion by over 76 percent. In effect, this Amendment to the State’s Constitution prohibits any recognition of same sex couples in Texas, and prohibits any branch of the government (city, county, state agencies, etc) to offer any benefits to partners of same sex couples. It also prohibits the creation of government created statutory recognition of civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc that some states in the United States offer (for example, Vermont).
In Dallas County, for example, before this amendment passed, Dallas County and other counties in Texas provided benefits to same sex partners of Dallas County employees. This Amendment, one of the most over reaching and broad of its kind, now prohibits Dallas County and other political subdivisions (cities, counties, state department and agencies) of this State from offering these types of benefits to same sex couples.
Through the use of Section 2 of the Amendment, the Texas Legislature acknowledged that the United States Constitution does not allow States to prohibit the use of Contracts between individuals. What this means is that to receive the same benefits under the law as heterosexual married couples, same sex couples must execute documents such as wills, powers of attorneys, guardianship agreements, etc. These documents are complex, especially when children are involved. To be drafted correctly and effectively, the use of lawyers is a must. Please visit our "What We Do" section of this website for more information.
The law firm of Schulte & Apgar, PLLC is one of the few firms in Texas that actually focus on this type of practice, tailored specifically to same sex couples.