Federal Judge Strikes Down Texas’ Ban on Gay Marriage
2:30pm Update: Attorney General Greg Abbott issued this statement:
AUSTIN—“This is an issue on which there are good, well-meaning people on both sides. And, as the lower court acknowledged today, it’s an issue that will ultimately be resolved by a higher court. Texas will begin that process by appealing today’s ruling to the Fifth Circuit. Because the judge has stayed his own decision, his ruling has no immediate practical effect. Instead, the ultimate decision about Texas law will be made by the Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that States have the authority to define and regulate marriage. The Texas Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman. If the Fifth Circuit honors those precedents, then today’s decision should be overturned and the Texas Constitution will be upheld.”
Judge Orlando Garcia has ruled that Texas' ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the same-sex marriage ban "violates plaintiffs' equal protection and due process right under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."
This doesn't mean that gay marriage is now legal in Texas though. Garcia issued an injunction and then suspended his own ruling. Another federal court in Austin has pending cases challenging the same-sex marriage ban.
The decision will likely be appealed and could make it to the United States Supreme Court. Other parts of the country have seen similar rulings to the one in Texas today.
According to the Texas Tribune, Garcia was appointed by President Bill Clinton and is the brother-in-law of Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio who is running for in Democratic Primary for Lieutenant Governor.