Texas Same-Sex Couples File Motion Asking Judge to Allow Gay Marriage
Two same-sex couples here in Texas are asking a federal court to lift a stay on its ruling against the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Last February, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia struck down the Texas ban on same-sex marriage, but he immediately stopped his own order from taking effect while the state appealed to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
"The Fifth Circuit hasn’t addressed the constitutionality but the Supreme Court has permitted decisions to stand in other circuits declaring that you can’t prevent people in the same sex from marrying," says Neel Lane, the attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, couples Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman and Victor Holmes and Mark Pharriss.
"Circumstances have changed vastly since he stayed his order," Lane says. "There’ve been numerous appellate court decisions affirming the right to marry and the Supreme Court has denied certs. So that now two-thirds of United States citizens enjoy the right to marry."
Judge Garcia may choose to lift his block, though the Fifth Circuit Court could then issue its own stay. Regardless, the appeals court in New Orleans is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Texas gay marriage ban in January.