Directly from the Houston Chronicle…
SAN ANTONIO – A federal judge in San Antonio on Wednesday declared Texas’ ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The Lone Star state’s refusal to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages is also unconstitutional, he ruled.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, however, also issued a stay, meaning the bans remain in effect for the time being.
Two gay couples have sued the state aiming to overturn the bans. One lesbian couple had to go to Massachusetts to get married, and they want Texas to recognize the union. A second couple had a courtship of 17 years and say they want to get married here in their home state.
Garcia ruled that the couples met the criteria for a preliminary injunction, including the likelihood of winning the suit.
Nationwide, seven states have struck down same-sex marriage bans, in whole or in part, in the past 65 days. But every state, including now Texas, has a stay in effect leaving the laws in place until the issue is visited by the U.S. Supreme Court.
After all of the rallies, speeches and services I’ve attended leading up to a day like this, it’s hard to not be somewhat emotional. Even as the old guard tries vociferously to push back, the march towards equality rolls on. This is a happy day, indeed.
Granted, marriage isn’t everything. Texas is still a state where too many people receive open and lawful discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s still a state where too many people can be fired based on who they love. But along the path to full equality, we have to stop and celebrate the victories that we achieve. For that, I am thankful.
To all of the wonderful engaged couples out there, it’s time to plan for your nuptials. Equality is coming to the Lone Star State!!