Cleopatra De Leon, Nicole Dimetman, Victor Holmes, Mark Phariss
Same-sex couples Cleopatra De Leon, left, and partner, Nicole Dimetman, second from left, and Victor Holmes and partner Mark Phariss, right, talk with the media after as they leave the U.S. Federal Courthouse, in San Antonio on Feb. 12, 2014. Eric Gay—AP

Texas Must Pay $600,000 in Legal Fees for Couples Who Fought Gay Marriage Ban

Apr 19, 2017

Texas is on the line for more than $600,000 owed to attorneys representing two couples who fought the state to overturn its ban on same-sex marriage.

A U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals awarded attorneys for Mark Pharris and husband Vic Holmes and Cleopatra DeLeon and wife Nicole Dimetman. The attorneys will receive $585,470.30 in fees and $20,202.90 in other costs

"We're thrilled," Phariss told the Dallas Morning News. "It means that our attorneys finally get compensated for all their hard work."

The money will be paid to the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, which said it would use the funds for pro bono work.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton led the state's charge against gay marriage in a years-long legal battle. The two couples were successful at the district court level, but had to wait while Texas appealed the decision to the 5th Circuit Court based in New Orleans.

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