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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Courts - "Federal judge strikes down Texas gay marriage ban"

Here is the AP report, beginning:

AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge declared Texas' ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Wednesday, but left it in place until an appeals court can rule on the case.

Judge Orlando Garcia issued the preliminary injunction after two gay couples challenged a state constitutional amendment and a longstanding law. He said the couples are likely to win their case and the ban should be lifted, but said he would give the state time to appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals before do so.

"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."

The ruling is the latest in a series of victories for gay rights activists following similar decisions in Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia.

But this was the first time a court in the conservative 5th Circuit has reached such a decision. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was expected to file an expedited appeal.

Emma Margolin has this story for MSNBC. Some quotes:
Marriage equality has officially infiltrated the deep South.

Texas moved to join 17 states and the District of Columbia on Wednesday in allowing gay couples to legally wed, after a federal judge struck down the state’s nine-year-old amendment banning same-sex nuptials. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, an appointee of President Clinton, issued a preliminary injunction on the ban, then suspended his ruling, meaning gay couples won’t be able to marry in the Lone Star State until the case is heard by a higher court.

Here is the opinion.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 26, 2014 03:21 PM
Posted to Courts in general