Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Texas Judge Strikes Down Marriage Ban

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/marriage-equality/2014/02/26/texas-judge-strikes-down-marriage-ban

A federal judge today rules Texas's marriage ban unconstitutional.

BY Michelle Garcia February 26 2014

A federal judge today struck down Texas's law banning same-sex marriage.



District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on marriage last summer trumps Texas's state constitutional amendment, which voters overwhelmingly approved in 2005.


“Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” he said in his order, The Dallas Morning News reports. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.” The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by two couples, Cleo DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman, and Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss.

Garcia stayed his ruling from taking effect until the case goes through the appeal process, so same-sex couples in Texas cannot being marrying immediately. He said the case would probably be one of 23 other pending state-level marriage cases that head would head to the Supreme Court for a ruling.  



According to the report, Texas attorney general and gubernatorial hopeful Greg Abbott is likely to appeal the ruling. Abbott strongly opposes marriage equality, as does the other four Republicans who are running against him in the primary election. 


The ruling is stayed, pending appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, so same-sex couples will still be unable to marry in Texas. But Rebecca L. Robertson, legal and policy director of the ACLU of Texas, says the ruling is still one step closer to the "inevitable end of official discrimination by the state of Texas. Gay and lesbian couples want the same thing as other loving couples -- to stand before family and friends and declare their lifetime commitment to each other, and to enjoy the same recognition and protection for their families that only marriage can bring. We applaud the judge’s preliminary ruling, but we also recognize that there is a great deal of hard work to do to bring full equality to every Texan.”


Continue reading at:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/marriage-equality/2014/02/26/texas-judge-strikes-down-marriage-ban

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