Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the likely Republican gubernatorial nominee, said the state will appeal a federal judge’s decision ruling the state’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.
Abbott’s statement came after U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia handed down the ruling Wednesday afternoon. Garcia issued a stay along with the ruling, which means the ban stays in place while the ruling is appealed.
“This is an issue on which there are good, well-meaning people on both sides. And, as the lower court acknowledged today, it’s an issue that will ultimately be resolved by a higher court,” Abbott said in a statement. “Texas will begin that process by appealing today’s ruling to the Fifth Circuit. Because the judge has stayed his own decision, his ruling has no immediate practical effect. Instead, the ultimate decision about Texas law will be made by the Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Abbott added that if the Fifth Court defines marriage as between one man and one woman Garcia’s ruling would not matter.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that States have the authority to define and regulate marriage,” Abbott said. “The Texas Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman. If the Fifth Circuit honors those precedents, then today’s decision should be overturned and the Texas Constitution will be upheld.”