We already know that Texas' bullheaded stance on gay marriage -- that it won't in any way recognize it, even if couples were married in other states -- trickles down to individual Texas Department of Public Safety clerks. Same-sex couples in Texas have to navigate roadblocks that can royally screw with your day, even if you're the mayor of the 4th largest city in the country.
A tweet from Mayor Annise Parker caught some of that frustration with DPS Thursday, after one of the Houston offices barred her daughter from taking a driving test because, well, her daughter has two moms.
Parker, who is the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, wed her longtime partner in January, but the two women jointly adopted this child and her older sister in 2003. Both women are legally her parents.
Even so, things went the way they all too often go for gay couples expecting equal treatment in Texas. Parker's daughter, who went to a DPS office to take her driving test, was turned away. Twice.
Apparently, the problem was because Parker's daughter has two moms; Parker was listed in some documents as the girl's mother, while Kathy Hubbard, Parker's wife, was listed as the mother in other documents. On the daughter's birth certificate, Parker and Hubbard are both listed as mothers. As Parker tweeted: "DPS says can only be from 1 mom!"
Luckily, a third trip Friday to the DPS office in Rosenberg did the trick, according to the mayor's tweets, and their child is well on her way to being footloose and fancy free.
Families come in all shapes and sizes, so Parker's daughter's situation shouldn't have been any more difficult to decipher than, say, a kid with a legal guardian or a teen with an absentee parent, right?
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Wrong. This is DPS we're talking about. The department came under fire just last month for denying a woman, who had legally married another woman in California, a state where same-sex marriage is legal, a driver's license.
Connie Wilson took her spouse's name after they were married, but when Wilson moved to Texas and attempted to obtain a driver's license, DPS refused to giver her an ID in her married name.
And instead of just honoring documents from another state, which the department says it cannot do when confronted with same-sex marriage licenses, DPS told Wilson that she would have to get a court order or no license with her new name would be issued.
So while it's probably no consolation to Mayor Parker, perhaps it'll give her some solace to know that she's not alone. In heeding the state's ban on same-sex marriage, it's now almost official DPS policy to make life harder for same-sex couples -- and, evidently, even their children.