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Texas

Gay Couples Ask Court to Lift Hold on Same-Sex Marriage in Texas

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Karina Kling/Time Warner Cable News
Plaintiffs in a case against the same-sex marriage ban in Texas are asking the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a stay on a federal judge's ruling that the gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs in a case challenging the same-sex marriage ban in Texas have filed a new request [read PDF here] asking the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a stay on a federal judge’s ruling that the Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. That stay is in place while the appeals process continues.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio ruled against the gay marriage ban in Texas, but he put that decision on hold temporarily while Texas appealed it.

The two same-sex couples in the case against the state are urging the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which takes up federal cases from Texas, to lift the judge’s stay.

"I’m four weeks away from delivering our child, and without the benefit of our victory at the district court, we’ll face the same type of uncertainty we faced with the birth of our first child," says Nicole Dimetman, who is due in March and is one of the plaintiffs.

She and her wife, Cleopatra De Leon, got married in Massachusetts, so Texas wouldn’t recognize Dimetman’s wife as one of the parents.

The other couple in the case are Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss, who are not married. "No straight couple would want to walk in our shoes – to have to wait over 17 years to marry the one we love, " Phariss said in a statement. "We shouldn’t have to wait any longer."

Judge Garcia stayed his decision about a year ago. Since then, same-sex marriage has become legal in 37 states and Washington, D.C.

"Texas remains the most populous state where gays and lesbians are deprived of that right. Today we urge the Fifth Circuit to remedy that omission immediately," said Neel Lane, the attorney who's representing the plaintiffs, in a statement.

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