US: Texas couples ask judge to allow same-sex couples to marry immediately

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Two couples in the US state of Texas have asked a federal judge to rule to allow same-sex couples to marry immediately.

The couples, Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes and Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon called on US District Judge Orlando Garcia to lift a stay which he put on a ruling he made in February, deeming Texas’ same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

“The court should immediately lift the stay because the Supreme Court’s actions following entry of the stay no longer support its continuance,” said the lawyer for both couples, noting that the Supreme Court last month failed to take up cases in various states, paving the way for same-sex weddings to start there.

Judge Garcia issued a preliminary injunction on the ban, and cited the Supreme Court’s 2013 strike-down of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8.

He also, however issued a stay alongside the injunction, leaving the ban in place pending appeal.

Garcia wrote: “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.

“Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.”