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Judge Strikes Down Texas Gay Marriage Ban
On Wednesday, a federal judge declared the state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, according to The Associated Press. The law will still be enforced in the state pending the result of an appeal that should reach the United States Supreme Court.
The preliminary injunction was issued by Judge Orlando Garcia. The state’s constitutional amendment was challenged by two gay couples.
“Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution,” Garcia wrote. “These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex.”
Garcia said that the two couples will more than likely win the case and that the ban will probably be lifted in Texas. Garcia also said that he would not enforce the ruling until a ruling is made by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Garcia also said he will provide time for the case to be appealed in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Garcia was appointed to his position by President Bill Clinton and has become the first judge in the 5th Circuit, which is conservative, to make such a decision. The decision will be appealed in the New Orleans court by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
“This is an issue on which there are good, well-meaning people on both sides,” Abbott said in a statement. “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that States have the authority to define and regulate marriage.”
The lawsuit filed against Texas’ ban was done by Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes. Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman also filed a suit that claimed Texas officials violated their rights when their marriage was not recognized as official even though it was conducted in a state where gay marriage is permitted.
“Having been together almost 17 years, we look forward to the day when we can get married and when all gay Texans enjoy equal rights to marry as well,” Phariss and Holmes said in a statement.
The decision by the court was denounced by Todd Staples, who wrote the constitutional amendment. Staples is a candidate for lieutenant governor.
“I am disappointed that judicial activism is once again trying to trump the will of the people. This ruling is the poster child of the culture war occurring in America today,” he said.Judge Strikes Down Texas Gay Marriage Ban by Jim Vassallo