Texas Gay Marriage: Federal Judge Strikes Down Ban
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On Wednesday, Judge Orlando Garcia struck down the ban on gay marriage in Texas. The judge went on to say that he did not do it to defy the people of Texas, but to comply with the U.S. constitution.
The decision was an answer to a suit filed by gay couples that challenged the constitutional amendment of Texas regarding banning gay marriage. Voting was done in 2005 and the results showed that 76% agreed to ban gay marriage in the state.
Garcia said that he carefully thought about his decision and that the ban goes against the country’s constitution on due process and equal protection. The current law in Texas prohibits gay couples to marry, thus demeaning them for no legitimate governmental purpose.
The judge’s ruling will not be in effect immediately. It means that gay couples in Texas cannot get married while the case is still in appeal.
Gilberto Hinojosa, Texas’ Democratic Party chairman, said that the ruling is a big step for the state’s LGBT community. He also stated that gay couples just want to have responsibilities and benefits that married couples have.
One of the four plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit forward, Victor Holmes, also rejoiced with judge’s decision with a fist pump and a “Woo hoo!” Holmes and his partner Mark Phariss are veterans of the U.S. Air Force. They are happy about the decision Garcia has made and take it as a first step towards the possibility of getting married.
On the other side, those who are opposed to gay marriage will still be fighting for what they believe in. Greg Abbott, Texas Attorney General, said that they would be challenging the ruling, as the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that each state has the authority to define marriage and that the state’s constitution dictates that marriage is an act between a man and woman.
The decision to ban gay marriage in Texas may ultimately be up to the Supreme Court.
Image via Wikimedia Commons