Published On: Thu, Feb 27th, 2014

Judge strikes down gay marriage ban in Texas, noting it as an ‘old and fundamental right’

A federal judge struck down Texas’s ban on same-sex marriages Wednesday, the latest judicial ruling which prevents states from withhold marriage from gay men and lesbians.

The Texas ruling was handed down by U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia, who declared the ban to be “state-imposed inequality.”

Judge Garcia’s ruling does not mean that gay couples in Texas will be able to marry as an appeal is likely to follow.

Just as other judges, the decision followed the Supreme Court’s decision last year to strike down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act, which had barred federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

These rulings have suddenly brought the prospect of same-sex marriage to some of the more conservative places in the union: Utah (where some marriages were performed), Oklahoma, Kentucky, plus politically divided states such as Ohio and Virginia.

Garcia said same-sex couples were being denied an old — and fundamental — right. That was the right to marry whomever they wanted.

“These Texas laws deny Plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges and responsibilities,” he wrote, “for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex.”

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday that he will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans. “This is an issue on which there are good, well-meaning people on both sides,” said Abbott, a candidate for Texas governor.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that states have the authority to define and regulate marriage,” he said. “The Texas Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman.”

In an interview Wednesday, Chasnoff said Garcia seemed to have sided with him on all of the important points.

“It appears that every argument carried the day,” Chasnoff said. Garcia “rejected any concept that children are harmed by being raised in same-sex marriages. He rejected any notion that allowing same-sex marriage would have any negative impact on heterosexual marriage.”

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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