Judge rules Texas marriage ban unconstitutional, stays decision for appeal

A judge has ruled that Texas ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional. Citing last summer's Windsor Supreme Court ruling, United States District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio said that the marriage ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

However, marriages are not beginning in Texas. Judge Garcia issued an immediate stay, pending appeal.

Via Equality Texas:

"Today's ruling by Judge Garcia is a huge victory that moves Texas one step closer to the freedom to marry", said Equality Texas executive director Chuck Smith. "The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Windsor made it clear that animus or moral disapproval is not an acceptable justification for denying any American their constitutional right to equal protection of the law. We are gratified to see Judge Garcia uphold the Constitution of the United States and declare that Texas' restrictions on the freedom to marry are unconstitutional and unenforceable. We anxiously await the day when the United States Supreme Court will reach the same conclusion."

This case will proceed on appeal. And Equality Texas will continue to work to increase public support in Texas for the freedom to marry. Follow this case and other pending legal cases in Texas at WhyMarriageMattersTX.org

Meanwhile, Texas is still a state where it is legal to fire or refuse to hire someone solely because they are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Texas is still a state where adopted children who have two moms or two dads cannot obtain an accurate birth certificate. Texas is still a state without standardized procedures to correct gender markers on identity documents. And Texas is still a state that keeps a statute declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court over a decade ago in Lawrence v. Texas on the books.