Deep in the heart of Texas

From the San Antionio Express-News:

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.

“Regulation of marriage has traditionally been the province of the states and remains so today,” Garcia wrote in the 48-page ruling. “However, any state law involving marriage or any other protected interest must comply with the United States Constitution.”

From the Dallas Morning News:

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia cited recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings as having trumped Texas’ moves to ban gay marriage.

“Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” he said in his order. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.”

We’ve been seeing more and more of those “religious freedom” bills in places like Arizona, Kansas and Georgia. One line of thinking says that conservative Christians have realized that they’re losing the marriage battle, and so they’ve gone on the defensive. They can’t prevent gay marriage from becoming legal, but they can make sure they never have to deal with it directly.

With this decision in Texas, it seems like they may have a point. This is a case where it seems that Federal law and jurisprudence has trumped state law. In the face of that, there’s little that can be done to stop marriage equality.

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