Main | Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BREAKING: Federal Court Rules TEXAS Ban On Gay Marriage To Be Unconstitutional,
Ruling Is STAYED For Now

Via the San Antonio Express-News:
A federal judge in San Antonio has declared Texas' ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, however, also issued a stay, meaning the ban stays in effect for the time being. One lesbian couple had to go to Massachusetts to get married, and they want Texas to recognize the union. A second gay couple have a courtship of 17 years and want to get married here in their home state. Both sued the state in federal court aiming to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage, saying it is unconstitutional.
Here's the ruling, via Equality Case Files.

UPDATE: The Dallas Morning News reports.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia cited recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings as having trumped Texas’ moves to ban gay marriage. “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. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.” But Garcia’s ruling, while a major victory for groups seeking to make marriage legal for gay and lesbian couples nationwide, will not win them Texas marriage licenses anytime soon. Although Garcia issued a preliminary injunction against the state’s enforcing its 2003 law and 2005 constitutional amendment that limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, he stayed it from taking effect until his ruling can be reviewed on appeal. Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor, is almost certain to appeal.
UPDATE II: Via Lone Star Q.
Garcia stayed his decision pending an appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Even if he had not stayed the decision, the preliminary injunction would have applied only to the two same-sex couples who filed the lawsuit challenging the marriage bans, known as DeLeon v. Perry. “The issue before this court is whether Texas’ current definition of marriage is permissible under the United States Constitution,” Garcia wrote in his 48-page decision. “After careful consideration, and applying the laws as it must, the Court holds that Texas’ prohibition on same-sex marriage conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Texas’ current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason. Accordingly, the Court finds these laws are unconstitutional and hereby grants a preliminary injunction enjoining Defendants from enforcing Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage.”

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