A Step in the Right Direction

Judge rules in favor of marriage equality

A Step in the Right Direction
Photo by Jana Birchum

Sen. Kirk Watson celebrates U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia's Feb. 26 ruling that Texas' ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Two same-sex couples – one legally wed out of state and another seeking to tie the knot in Texas – had sought an injunction against the law's enforcement, arguing the ban violated their right to equal protection under the law. "Today's court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature," Garcia said, "But in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent. Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution." Although the ruling was a victory for marriage-equality advocates, Garcia conceded that the issue will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. The order was stayed pending Attorney General Greg Abbott's appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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