A federal judge in San Antonio could
rule as early as today in a case challenging Texas' ban on gay
Plaintiffs in the suit are two gay
couples. Cleopatra de Leon and Nicole Dimetman of Austin married in
Massachusetts but a constitutional amendment approved by voters in
2005 prohibits Texas from recognizing their marriage. The law also
prevents San Antonio couple Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss from
marrying. The couple was denied a marriage license in November.
The plaintiff couples are asking U.S.
District Judge Orlando Garcia to immediately block the law until a
trial can be held.
Nearly two dozen similar lawsuits have
been filed throughout the nation, but the Texas lawsuit is the first
expected to reach the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals,
considered one of the nation's most conservative courts.
According to the AP, Garcia, a Clinton
appointee, could hand down a ruling from the bench on Wednesday or
issue a written ruling later.
Phariss, a lawyer, and Holmes, an Air
Force veteran, have been in a relationship for 17 years.
“We love each other and, like most
straight couples who love each other, we want to get married,”
Pharris told The
Dallas Morning News.
Plaintiff couples are asking the court
to immediately halt enforcement of Texas' ban on same-sex marriage.
State lawyers have asked for the suit to be dismissed, arguing that
Texas is “promoting the state's interest in responsible procreation