Federal Judge Declares Texas’ Ban on Gay Marriage Unconstitutional
A federal judge, saying he was complying with the U.S. Constitution and not trying to defy the people of Texas, struck down Texas’ ban on gay marriage, but left it in place Wednesday pending a ruling by an appeals court later this year.
Judge Orlando Garcia issued his ruling in Austin in response to a challenge by two gay couples of the state’s 2005 constitutional amendment, which had been approved by 76 percent of voters, and a 2003 law banning gay marriage.
Garcia’s decision, however, rejected the argument by the office of Texas Attorney General said each state has the right to define marriage as best fits the traditions of its citizens. Texas also argued that traditional marriage best supports the state’s interest in the area of procreation and child rearing.
“After careful consideration, and applying the law as it must, this Court holds that Texas’ prohibition on same-sex marriage conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process,” Garcia wrote in a 48-page opinion. “Texas’current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason.”
PHOTO:ERIC GAY / AP