US: Texas couples file appeal for same-sex marriage ‘in time for Christmas’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Couples in Texas have filed an appeal which could allow same-sex marriages to begin in the state in time for Christmas.

Judge Orlando Garcia struck down the state’s marriage ban in February, but stayed the ruling, meaning it will not come into effect until the appeals process is concluded.

Attorney General Greg Abbott has been accused of deliberately stalling his appeal to postpone the marriages for as long as possible – requesting multiple extensions to legal deadlines because his legal briefs were “not ready”.

Couples have now filed a motion calling on Judge Garcia to lift the stay – which they argue is no longer valid because of a separate Supreme Court decision.

Plaintiff Cleopatra DeLeon said: “With the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays, it would be wonderful to see same-sex couples marry before the end of the year.

“We are hopeful Judge Garcia will lift the stay. With recent events that have legalized gay marriage across the nation, the time for equality for all is now.”

Mark Phariss, who is looking to marry partner Vic Holmes, said: “With each day of delay, our loving, committed 17-year relationship is treated unequally.

“With each day of delay, we are forced to run the risk that if, God forbid, one of us dies in a car wreck or something else happens, we will never be able to marry — to exchange vows, to say ‘I do,’ to call each other spouses.

“These harms simply can never be cured and justify lifting the stay now.”

(h/t Towleroad)