Today, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that Texas’ ban on marriage for lesbian and gay couples is unconstitutional in the lawsuit brought by Cleopatra DeLeon, Nicole Dimetman, Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss who were represented by the law firm Akin Gump. The ruling is stayed pending appeal, meaning marriages will not occur immediately in the state. Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:
“This injunction sends a powerful message that gay and lesbian Texans are being harmed everyday by inequality, and that these plaintiff couples who we’re proud to call members of the HRC family are very likely to succeed in striking down Texas’ ban on marriage equality. This is a historic day in the heart of the South, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to move quickly until loving couples in all 50 states feel the full reach of this victory for equality.”
The Texas ruling comes on the heels of a year-long string of electoral, judicial and legislative victories for marriage equality. Recently the New Mexico Supreme Court and federal district judges in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Ohio and Kentucky have ruled in favor of marriage for lesbian and gay couples.