(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
A federal judge has ruled that the Texas law banning same sex marriage is unconstitutional:
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.
That was the good news. The bad news is that the ban will remain in effect until the issue is visited by the U.S. Supreme Court. Or not? I suppose that if SCOTUS refuses to review the case the ban would be lifted. Still, this is good news for marriage equality.