A federal judge on Wednesday declared Texas' ban on equal marriage unconstitutional; the judge also ruled that the state's refusal to recognize the unions of gay couples married in other states to be unconstitutional.
As the San Antonio Express News notes, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia stayed the decision pending the state's appeal, meaning that the state ban on marriage equality remains in effect for now.
“Regulation of marriage has traditionally been the province of the states and remains so today,” Garcia wrote in the ruling. “However, any state law involving marriage or any other protected interest must comply with the United States Constitution.”
Gov. Rick Perry, if you can believe it, is upset by the decision and has vowed to appeal it:
Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens. The 10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions, and this is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn't be achieved at the ballot box. We will continue to fight for the rights of Texans to self-determine the laws of our state.
One of the couples behind the suit, Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon celebrated the decision as “a great step towards justice for our family.”
“Ultimately, the repeal of Texas' ban will mean that our son will never know how this denial of equal protections demeaned our family and belittled his parents' relationship,” they said in a statement. “We look forward to the day when, surrounded by friends and family, we can renew our vows in our home state of Texas.”