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Friday, February 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Texas Supports Gays

The State of Texas has come out in favor of gay marriage.

I'm only telling you this because you probably haven't seen it reported anywhere else and I am a journalist. It's my job to let you in on important legal developments.

It's also my job to assist you in updating your collection of "What Were They Thinking?!?" legal disputes. So check out a ruling of the Texas Court of Appeals called State of Texas v. Naylor in which the state Attorney General's office goes to court to preserve a gay marriage.

The gay couple involved here, however, was not pleased. They were trying to get a divorce.

It seems that two women went to Massachusetts to get married, returned home to Texas, had problems, and filed for divorce in Texas. It wasn't pleasant, but they finally settled their disputes and were about to be happily single again when the Texas Attorney General's office decided to intervene.


Don't look at me. According to a footnote in the ruling, someone from the AG's office showed up in court while the couple was arguing over their divorce. Or maybe the person just happened to be there and felt compelled to try to keep those crazy kids together.

The appellate court, in case you're wondering, was mystified by this too and rejected the state challenge. I'm guessing the state Supreme Court is going to see this next.

And we can now look forward to anti-gay divorce ballot initiatives.

BUTTERFLIES AND BASEBALL. Maybe they should round up all the butterflies and arrest them.

Haven't they caused enough chaos?

I was reminded of chaos theory - and baseball the other day when reading a ruling from California's Fourth Appellate District called People v. Wilkins. The court upheld the first degree murder conviction - under of the felony murder rule - of a guy who was driving a truck when a stove fell off it and caused a pileup on the freeway.

No, he didn't push the stove off. It just slid off because the defendant didn't latch the tailgate.

Fans of proximate cause debates are gong to love this one.

The felony murder rule came into play because 60 miles down the freeway, the defendant had stolen the stove and some other appliances.

You can't feel too bad about this because, at least according to the ruling, the defendant was not a nice a person at all and someone did die in the freeway crash.

Still, there is an interesting line drawing issue here. Exactly when does the felony murder rule wear off?

If the defendant had gotten the stove home and it blew up a week later, burning down the house and the neighborhood mailman with it, would that be felony murder?

Maybe. Perhaps all felons should be responsible for any deaths near them for the rest of their lives. That could be a pretty effective deterrent against felonies.

Now, just for the heck of it, consider baseball.

Supposing the chronology was reversed. A stove fell off the defendant's truck on the freeway and negligently caused a fatal pileup. Since he no longer had a stove, the defendant then drove 60 miles and stole one.

Same two acts but no felony murder.

If your team hits a triple and a sacrifice fly, you score a run. If your team flies out and hits a triple, you don't score.

Baseball and life aren't fair.

Philosophy is so much fun.

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