Federal Judge Rules Texas Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

February 26, 2014 2:31 p.m.

A federal judge in San Antonio declared Texas’ ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Wednesday.

But U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued a stay along with the ruling, so the ban remains in place for the time being. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), who is running for governor against state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), is expected to appeal the decision.

Garcia, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote in his decision that Texas’ constitutional ban on same-sex marriage violates equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

“Texas’ current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason,” he wrote. “Accordingly, the Court finds these laws are unconstitutional and hereby grants a preliminary injunction enjoining Defendants from enforcing Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage.”

Two gay couples had sued to overturn the ban: one couple that argued the ban denied them the fundamental right to marry based on their sexual orientation and another that said Texas violated their rights and the rights of their child by not recognizing their Massachusetts marriage license.

The Texas ruling comes on the heels of court decisions regarding same-sex marriage bans in Utah (albeit briefly), Oklahoma, Kentucky and Virginia.

Read the full ruling below, via Lone Star Q:

Texas Gay Marriage

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