The Washington Post

Judge strikes down gay marriage ban in Texas

[posttv url="" ]

A Texas judge has struck down that state's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia did not say gay marriages could be performed immediately. Instead, he stayed the decision, citing a likely appeal.

"Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution," Garcia wrote in his decision. "These Texas laws deny Plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex."

The state's gay marriage ban was challenged by two gay couples -- one seeking to marry in Texas and one seeking to have their marriage, which was performed in Massachusetts, to be recognized.

The case appears to be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), who is also seeking to become the state's next governor, is expected to appeal.

Texas Democrats hailed the decision.

"This is a historic day for the LGBT community and the state of Texas," state Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said. "As Dr. King once stated, 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.' Today, all Texans can celebrate that we are one step closer to justice and equality for all."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said his state will indeed seek to uphold the ban.

"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," Perry said, adding: "We will continue to fight for the rights of Texans to self-determine the laws of our state."

Texas is the latest in a quick succession of states in which a judge has struck down a ban on gay marriage. Judges in Virginia, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Utah and California have also struck down those states' bans.

A judge in New Mexico also recently legalized gay marriage, though that state didn't have a ban in place. Judges in Ohio and Kentucky have instructed their states to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere.

Seventeen states, not including Texas, currently allow gay marriage.

Texas voters remain split on gay marriage, with a recent poll showing 48 percent favor it and 49 percent oppose it.

Below is the full ruling:

Federal judge's ruling on Texas gay marriage ban

Updated at 3:53 p.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Democrats debate Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
The big questions after New Hampshire, from The Post's Dan Balz
Can Bernie Sanders cut into Hillary Clinton's strength in the minority community and turn his challenge into a genuine threat? And can any of the Republicans consolidate anti-Trump sentiment in the party in time to stop the billionaire developer and reality-TV star, whose unorthodox, nationalistic campaign has shaken the foundations of American politics?
Clinton in New Hampshire: 2008 vs. 2015
Hillary Clinton did about as well in N.H. this year as she did in 2008, percentage-wise. In the state's main counties, Clinton performed on average only about two percentage points worse than she did eight years ago (according to vote totals as of Wednesday morning) -- and in five of the 10 counties, she did as well or better.
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.