Thursday, 27 February 2014 13:45

Federal Judge Shoots Down Marriage Protection Amendment in Texas

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A federal judge has struck down Texas' constitutional amendment, approved in 2005 by 76 percent of the state's voters, that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. In his February 26 decision Federal District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the amendment violated the U.S. Constitution by prohibiting homosexual marriage, and that it denigrated the dignity of gays and lesbians.

In his 48-page opinion Garcia wrote that after “careful consideration, and applying the law as it must, this court holds that Texas' prohibition on same-sex marriage conflicts with the United States Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process. Texas' current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason.”

The judge, placed on the federal bench by President Clinton in 1994, noted that while regulating marriage “has traditionally been the province of the states and remains so today ... any state law involving marriage or any other protected interest must comply with the United States Constitution.” Garcia insisted that his ruling was not made “in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the United States Constitution and Supreme Court precedent. Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution.”

While the ruling made waves in both conservative, pro-family and pro-homosexual circles, the New York Times noted that it “will have no immediate effect on gay and lesbian couples wishing to marry in Texas. The judge issued a stay on his decision while the state appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans.”

The Texas ruling is the latest in a number of legal decisions that have struck down the will of the voters in several states with regards to the definition of marriage. Earlier this year federal judges overturned voter-passed marriage protection amendments in both Virginia and Oklahoma, and a judge recently ruled that Kentucky must honor homosexual unions recognized as marriage in other states.

The Times reported that a number of legal experts “predict that one or more of these cases will be taken up by the United States Supreme Court in the next year or two, particularly if the federal appellate courts reach conflicting conclusions. The Fifth Circuit, where the Texas case was headed, is known as one of the country’s most conservative appeals panels.”

Michael Diviesti of the homosexual activist group GetEQUAL TX applauded the ruling, claiming that it represented a “sure sign that things are changing in Texas for the better. We've got a few more steps to go on the marriage front, but I think we're all pretty prepared to keep up the fight.” He added that “I wish we could start planning our weddings right now. Unfortunately, we can't, but now there is an end in sight. A lot of us were thinking it would take five to ten years before we could get married in our home states. But seeing this happen in our state shows us that we're not as far away from that as we thought we were.”

By contrast, Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values, a conservative Christian, pro-family group, called the ruling “the most egregious form of judicial activism in our generation. This is only the beginning of an epic battle that the Texas people will ultimately win in the name of the only true and lawful definition of marriage: one man and one woman.”

Similarly, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, which has taken a significant lead in defending traditional marriage nationwide, said that Texas was “the latest victim of a judicial free-for-all in making a lawless mockery of the ideals that our Founding Fathers stood for.... This is not just an attack on marriage, but an attack on the rule of law. It is not the role of judges to redefine our most fundamental societal institution which has such far-reaching implications for society at every level.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry expressed his disappointment in Garcia's ruling, recalling that a majority of 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 that the U.S Constitution's Tenth 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.”

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was optimistic that the Fifth Circuit Court would ultimately rule in favor of the state's marriage protection amendment. “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that states have the authority to define and regulate marriage,” Abbott said in a statement. “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.”

3 comments

  • Comment Link Heidi Preston Sunday, 02 March 2014 03:14 posted by Heidi Preston

    Orlando Garcia a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1978.
    Sarah Weddington attended the University of Texas Law School in 1964 (Roe vs.Wade case).
    ACLU is constantly "intruding " in private lives (on their abortion advocates behalf)..yet this is what they profess:"These proposed laws limiting access to abortion are part of a coordinated national campaign. The goal of this strategy is clear – extremist politicians want to interfere in private and personal decisions best left to a woman, her family and her doctor." Faulty thinking - rights of husbands in regards to abortion =zero (they can not tell a woman to or not to have an abortion period, yet are asked to support the child in any event). The right of a baby girl/child/woman is not even considered in this murderous act only the vessel that carries it. Homosexuality a non reproductive status (yes, there are infertile couples that are heterosexual) but the laws as they stand are there to represent the heterosexual relationship and set code of conduct for them. Can this and should this change, ACLU is trying it's darnest with the help of certain Judges. The stats below also include health /social services to each grand fund. How much will these new families cost the state with new methods of reproduction? Maybe they will adopt or get friends to do this job for them...it's a wide frontier with lots of new options to look at.


    R = In 2014 Alabama has received $3 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R = In 2014 Alaska has received $0.8 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R = In 2014 Arizona has received $2.4 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R = In 2014 Florida has received $8.6 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R = In 2014 Georgia has received $4.3 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government
    R= In 2014 Indiana has received $7 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R= In 2014 Iowa has received $1.7 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R= In 2014 Kansas has received $0.3 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R= In 2014 Michigan has received $8.9 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R= In 2014 Mississippi has received $0.5 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R= In 2014 New Jersey has received $4.5 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R= In 2014 North Carolina has received $5.4 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R = In 2014 Ohio has received $7.9 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R= In 2014 Oklahoma has received $2.2 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R= In 2014 Pennsylvania has received $7.7 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R= In 2014 South Carolina has received $2.6 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government
    R=In 2014 Tennessee has received $4.8 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R=In 2014 Texas has received $12.8 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R=In 2014 Utah has received $1.2 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    R=In 2014 Wisconsin has received $5.3 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government. -
    Total for Republican grant money $91.1 Billion dollars

    D= In 2014 Arkansas has received $2.2 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government
    D= In 2014 California has received $25.9 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D = In 2014 Colorado has received $2.1 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government
    D = In 2014 Connecticut has received $2.3 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D= In 2014 Illinois has received $6.2 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D= In 2014 Kentucky has received $3.4 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D= In 2014 Maryland has received $3 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D= In 2014 Massachusetts has received $5.6 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D= In 2014 Minnesota has received $3.4 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D= In 2014 Missouri has received $3.7 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D= In 2014 New York has received $18.7 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D= In 2014 Oregon has received $2.5 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D=In 2014 Virginia has received $5.3 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government.
    D=In 2014 Washington has received $4.2 billion dollars in funding so far from the federal government-
    Total for Democrat grant money $88.5 Billion dollars

    Difference of $2.6 Billion
    Republicans dispense among 20 states
    Democrates dispense among 14 states

    Highest amount for Democrats is $25.9 billion California - population 37,253,956
    Highest amount for Republicans is $12.8 billion Texas- population 25,145,561

  • Comment Link Pete Bennett Friday, 28 February 2014 12:11 posted by Pete Bennett

    My, my, my....sure didn't take long. Federal judge orders Kentucky to allow same sex marriages to be performed there, and to recognize them from other states. Let's hope it stops with two human parents?

  • Comment Link Pete Bennett Thursday, 27 February 2014 20:58 posted by Pete Bennett

    The Constitution is considered to be unequivocally clear and understandable. There is nothing in it that clearly addresses or referrences marriage...especially any definition. So, clearly, the definition in 1789 was unequivocally understood by a citizen, without being told. (as, without any relevance to this except by lack of definition, is 'natural born Citizen' )
    The Supreme Court has vacillated a bit about defining marriage; instead, making rulings in deference to gay marriages, but never by any clear reasoning (in my opinion). Thus, by the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, section 1 (Full Faith and Credit ) is 'gay marriage' about to become universally adopted in every state and territory of the US, without openly saying it to be so, almost if not factually, by fiat?
    Would this not be in conflict with the COTUS, Amendment 10? Slick move if they get it done, sadly.

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